I was delighted to take part in a hangout on digital inclusion for Labour Digital last night. It gave me an opportunity to raise an angle rarely covered – the importance of online media to people’s participation in local democracy. A good proportion of the people not online are older people with a background in manual trades. I have a suspicion that this is a group that will also habitually buy the local paper. As local newspaper owners thin-out their journalists nationwide and move to an increasingly digital model the centrality of the printed paper to local democracy will diminish. And in many areas local blogs, tweets, Facebook pages are increasingly making the running – especially as politicians take direct to twitter to dis-intermediate communication. And people who are not online will find it harder to keep up with what is going on. You can see a video of the hangout here.
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