I’ve been invited to talk at a blog seminar tomorrow, arranged by Høyre, the Conservative party in Norway. I’m going to talk about blogging politicians, digital media and how/if political journalism has changed because of bloggers/social media.
As I’ve been preparing for the talk, I’ve been looking at which Norwegian politicians (at the national level, either ministers or parliamentarians) are blogging. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, and finally, I got a good reason for compiling the list. On top, you find the three political parties in the government, Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party), Senterpartiet (Centre Party) and Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party), below you find the four opposition parties.
Short conclusion: Few of the politicians have grasped the blog format. Many avoid linking, answering their readers, and use the blog as another platform for monologue (just like newspapers or television), instead of engaging in the digital conversation. Humour is hard to find.
But there are some clear exceptions: Minister of Education, Bård Vegar Solhjell (SV – he just started blogging, Nov last year) and Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Høyre -not blogging anymore, stopped June 2008) are among them. They are/were engaged, personal (but not necessarily private, which is something completely different), funny, frequently updated. Solhjell’s personal twist is music, every week he presents a new record (this week’s record is Talking Heads: Fear of Music), which seems to engage his readers. Just as I’m writing this, I read this tweet about Solhjell’s blog, written by Fredrik Johnsen: “Bård Vegar Solhjell says what he means about Israel-Palestine… Refreshingly direct!”
I assume we will see some digital changes and improvements among the political parties as the election is approaching in Sept this year. Otherwise, they haven’t learned the lesson from Obama! Politics is no longer viral, it’s viral.
Please let me know if I’ve missed any blogging politicians on the national level. If I have, you better make sure to make them more visible on your website!
Arbeiderpartiet (Labour party)
Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party)
Senterpartiet (Centre Party)
Høyre (Conservative Party)
Finished – Torbjørn Røe Isaksen
Venstre (Liberal Party)
Kristelig folkeparti (Christian Democratic Party)
Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party)