Columbia government FAQ videos lack engagement before vote

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Monday, November 06 2017 Nov 6, 2017 Monday, November 06, 2017 6:44:00 PM CST November 06, 2017 in News
By: Lauren Magarino, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - City government attempted to use social media as a tool to inform Columbia residents on ballot measures leading up to the election on Nov. 7. 

"Our responsibility is to educate voters on the issue. We are not to advocate, we are to educate. So we put together a series of educational FAQs as well as videos," Steven Sapp, Columbia communications director said. 

These videos specifically addressed a new use tax. It breaks down into two propositions, Proposition 1 and Proposition U. The videos answered questions such as how the use tax is reported and whether other cities have a use tax.

Using social media platforms to answer questions like these is sparking interest amongst government bodies across the nation. 

"A lot of government entities are sort of interested in how to reach the public and get some feedback in their deliberations," Brian Kessel, a political science professor at Columbia College, said. "So far the literature suggests that it's kind of challenging to figure out ways to reach people and encourage involvement." 

Citizen involvement was low on the city's posts. 

"What struck me was there weren't a very large number of people who were commenting, even the amount of page views were kind of low. So if we're thinking about the effectiveness of this as an outreach tool, it's not really touching that very many citizens," Kessel said. 

The posts did reach Elizabeth Crippen, a Columbia resident who commented on a couple of videos. 

"Vote NO on new taxes. Bring more/better businesses to CoMo and consumers will shop local. I shop the [internet] because I can't find what I want in local stores," Crippen said on one video post. 

The rest of the few interactions, which include reactions and comments, also skewed negatively.

According to a study by a group of communications strategists, close to 80 percent of U.S. internet users thought public thought social media could impact public policy outcomes. 

Kessel said the reality of public thought influencing public policy came with strings attached.

"Public opinion can have a role on policy makers if it's strong and sustained. If it's not, then politicians can sort of out-wait public opinion," Kessel said. 

Sapp said the city does look at any posted commentary. 

"We always have an evaluation period where we go back and we look, no matter what the communication is about. So that we can attempt to do better next time. We're always looking for ways to improve," Sapp said.

Polls close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - People gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to celebrate holidays from several cultures. KOPN Community Radio... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College had a special moment during the graduation ceremony Saturday to honor a student who died in... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A 19-year-old woman was shot Saturday afternoon near Aspen Heights Parkway, police said. At around 2:40 p.m.,... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:40:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
2am 32°
3am 31°
4am 31°
5am 31°