Journalism, transparency and citizen participation: a methodological tool to evaluate information published on municipal websites

Núria Simelio, Xavier Ginesta, Jordi de San Eugenio Vela, Marta Corcoy

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Resum

© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article analyses the transparency of the websites of Spanish municipals of more than 20,000 inhabitants in 2015 with the aim of verifying whether these sites provide the information necessary so that citizens can be informed, can hold their governments to account and can participate in the democratic process. The methodology is based on 39 indicators grouped into questions about who the political representatives are, how they manage collective resources, how they inform about the management of these resources and what instruments they provide for participation. This study presents answers to the last two questions. The results reveal that city councils are not transparent and act mainly to promote the actions of the government when communicating with the public, that they provide few mechanisms for citizen participation, and that social networks are a unidirectional communication tool little used for accountability. The methodological tool presented here has been shown to be effective and to have had an impact on the municipals analysed here–which improved their information during the various phases of evaluation–and therefore may be of use when applied to other countries and other national and international governmental websites.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)369-385
Nombre de pàgines17
RevistaInformation Communication and Society
Volum22
Número3
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 23 de febr. 2019

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