Following on from my previous post, here are the latest trends in the online debate about the forthcoming European elections (based on statistics collected during the last week).
Twitter was a major feature of the 2012 US Presidential elections, with a combined 14 million tweets during the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions and over 10 million tweets during the TV debate between the candidates in October 2012.
No less than three of the Brookings Institute’s Ten Communication Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election relate to the game-changing impact of Twitter, including the democratization of political debate and commentary. Pollster Stephen Mills commented in the Guardian during the campaign that “tweeters, not bloggers or pundits, will decide debate winners as politics shifts from a 24-hour news cycle to a 140-character one”.
So, will Twitter play a similar role during the 2014 European elections?
It was a pleasure to meet Ourania from Greece, Joseph from Malta, György and Tünde from Hungary during the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels. They are the four lucky winners of the 2013 “Europe in My Region” photo competition. Ourania, Joseph, György and Tünde came to Brussels on 9 October to collect their prizes from Commissioner Johannes Hahn and to share the stories behind their winning photos.
After returning to Brussels earlier this week, I’m back at work now and already finding plenty of opportunities to apply things I learned during my fellowship at the University of Washington.
E!Sharp magazine published an article I wrote about EU governance and policy-making, based on the research I did during the fellowship: Will digital media transform the European Union?
The Fellowship has been a fantastic experience, and I have enjoyed sharing some of my adventures with you on this blog. A big thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in my ramblings, as well as providing useful comments and feedback! I have learned a lot and made some great new contacts – more evidence of the power of social media!
I haven’t quite decided what to do with this blog now that the Fellowship is finished. I may continue to post occasionally if I come across interesting examples of digital media and policy-making from the EU, USA and elsewhere. But I don’t think that I will be updating the blog as regularly as I have been over the last 6-9 months.
Where is the money going?
As part of its response to the economic crisis, the US federal government approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – a stimulus package worth $787 billion (subsequently increased to $840 billion) – in February 2009. The Act provides financing for tax cuts and benefits, “entitlement programs” (such as unemployment benefits) and federal contracts grants and loans.
But where exactly is the money going? Continue reading