As G8 leaders wrap up the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville, the social media activity is just getting started.
The ubiquity of social media and Web 2.0 has changed the landscape of international politics in how global citizens and their leaders interact. The significance of blogging, Twitter, YouTube (to name just a handful) rests in their ability to encourage and enhance an interactive dialogue.
Earlier this week The Canadian Press published an article highlighting the activity (and inactivity) of G8 leaders on Twitter, drawing attention to who is, or is not, following each other’s Tweets. Though a bit tongue-in-cheek, the article emphasizes the evolving importance of transparency through the use of social media:
There's no reason why senior government officials couldn't use the service [Twitter] to communicate directly, [...] especially in an era where transparency and personal connection are political buzzwords.” – Matthias Lufkenz, Associate Director for Media at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Despite the apparent lack of mutual “Follows” by global leaders, below are the Twitter accounts you should follow for coverage of Deauville’s G8 Summit outputs and commentary:
Twitter Accounts to Follow
- @FranceG8 – The official Twitter handle of the 2011 G8 and G20 summits in France. (Also en Français: @Elysee)
- @eg8forum – Official Twitter coverage of the first eG8 Forum occurred May 24th and 25th in Paris.
Leaders & G8 Members
- @pmharper – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tweets.
- @EU_Commission – The European Commission, Tweets managed by the Commission’s communications department, official voice of the European Commission to the press.
- @euHvR – Twitter of the President of the European Council, managed by his media team.
- @RegSprecher - Government Spokesman, and Head of the Press and Information Office of the German Federal Government.
- Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn’t Tweet… yet.
- @JPN_PMO – Japan’s Prime Minister on Twitter.
- @KremlinRussia_E – Official Tweets and news from the Kremlin, Moscow.
- @MedvedevRussiaE – Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia’s official Twitter.
- @Number10gov – Official Tweets for the Prime Minister's Office based at 10 Downing Street.
- @BarackObama – President Barack Obama’s official Twitter.
- @whitehouse – Official Twitter of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Popular Hashtags to follow:
Twitter isn’t the only social media outlet to follow for coverage of the French G8 Presidency. Video is increasingly available at the touch of a key as governments and news agencies post content on YouTube. Streaming video coverage of press events, interviews and other G8 happenings can often be found minutes after they occur.
Check out the official Daily Motion channel for the French G8, packed with conference commentary, Q & A sessions, and speeches by global leaders. Tune into Japanese Government Internet TV for a review of the highlights from the perspective of Japan. On YouTube, there are a handful of channels providing heavy coverage of the G8 Summit. Notably, the EU Policy News and EuroNews both have great footage of the leaders at press events, provide News and reaction pieces on Summit talks, and broad overviews of G8 goals.
Although the G8 Summit is wrapping up, the action continues via social media as leaders share their resolutions and goals with the world.
Zachary Osborne is the Research Librarian at The Centre for International Governance Innovation. He holds an MISt from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Acadia University.