Posted November. 10, 2005 03:34,
Government agencies, including the Government Information Agency, have rushed to open mini home pages and blogs on Internet portal sites such as cyworld and NAVER, saying, We will be able to publicize the governments policies more effectively by communicating directly with netizens.
However, it has been pointed out that these mini home pages and blogs are redundant because those governmental agencies already have official home pages, and that those mini home pages and blogs are a waste of budget because running them takes too much money.
A plethora of agency home pages and blogs-
As of November 9, 10 governmental agencies operate mini home pages and blogs on Internet portal sites apart from their own official home pages.
Those governmental agencies claim that using mini home pages and blogs can boost the participation of the younger generation in policies, because that way, younger people are informed about policies more readily and in a more interesting way. However, in most cases, mini home pages and blogs are run for just a one-time event.
A mini home page run by the Government Information Agency consists of a schedule of governmental events and explanations of advertisements for state affairs, content that seems to have no relation with policy publicizing. Moreover, most of the aforementioned content can be found on the official home page of the Government Information Agency.
A look at the profile block of a mini home page run by the National Defense Ministry reveals a chart of organization only. The name of Defense Minister and phone number of the Ministry are not mentioned at all.
Can mini home pages and blogs help publicize government policies?-
According to the Briefing on State Affairs, an Internet newspaper run by the Government Information Agency, it costs about 20 million to 30 million won monthly to run a mini home page or a blog.
Jeon Byeong-guk, a public information official at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said, In July, the Ministry spent 20 million won on banner advertisements and events that are required to run a cyworld mini home page in order to publicize Cultural Power C-Korea 2010. We feel the money was worth it because the home page recorded 270,000 hits.
However, some point out that a large number of hits does not necessarily mean that those mini home pages and blogs are effective in publicizing government policies. The Food and Drug Administration ran a home page on a portal site to publicize its food-poisoning prevention campaign for four months starting last April. It spent 105 million won on the home page and received 254,000 hits in July alone.
However, the Expert Advisory Committee of the National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee has proposed cutting the Food and Drug Administrations Internet publicity budget next year, saying, It is questionable whether the home page is effective in publicizing policies because most of the hits on the site were from elementary schoolers.
According to the committee, the campaign for prevention of food-poisoning was supposed to target cooks or dieticians, but 82% of the home page visitors were 19 years old or younger.