Sunday, August 01, 2010

Getting the message on NBN online

According to media reports Prime Minister Gillard announced an expansion of the NBN (National Broadband Network) on Friday. The frustration with such reports is finding out exactly what was announced. There were 454 news items about this on Google news. I went to the ALP web site and looked for NBN on the front page. There was a panel on the top of the page which said "National Broadband Network" but before I could click on it, this disappeared and was replaced with an item on health. So I went back to the Google news to see if any of the news items had a link to anything substantial. It is very frustrating that all the news items appear to be written from essentially the same media release, speech text, or press conference transcript, but it is very difficult to find these source documents.

What I did find was a link to "Reverse PR". This is to a media release from Senator Kate Lundy and the other Canberra ALP candidates about the NBN, issued after the PM's speech. What is interesting about this is that the media release is on a specialised media release distributing service, supported by web ads. Anyone can submit a media release to the service and subscribe to receive the releases. There is a very efficient mobile edition and access via RSS feed. Google then aggregates this alongside more traditional news sources.

If the parties were to use this, or similar services, for their major announcements I might then be able to find the details, in amongst the media reports. Of course if they were to design good web pages I might be able to find their polices more directly.

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