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Who controls content on government web sites?

Who posts to government web sites? Is the content of government websites driven by service to the customers, citizens, and industry groups or do they reflect a a political message shaped by the agency political appointees? This paper, from the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, September 2004, addresses some of those questions. It has been online for subscribers for a while, but is in print now.


While much research has focused on the new opportunities that government Web sites offer for greater citizen involvement and improved agency efficiency, less attention has been given to agency decisions about what to post on these Web sites. Here we use interviews with content managers in seven federal agencies to investigate the political and institutional influences behind decisions about Web content. We analyze the approval processes for new content and the emerging governance structures for evidence of greater centralization and political control or greater decentralization and autonomy for Web posters. In the end, it appears that institutional factors persist to influence content governance.

See Also: Who decides what is available and what is withdrawn?

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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