You may not have been following the Grog’s Gamut kerfuffle, but for all those in the public service and who have an online presence it has been an interesting case. Essentially, for reasons best known to themselves, a News Ltd journalist outed by naming a pseudonymous political blogger who was also a public servant, who was in attendance at the recent Media140 conference (see elsewhere on here for that conference).
This has led to ferocious debate on the freedom of public servants to write, the ethics of pseudonymous blogging, the role of old versus new media, and the levels to which old media journalists will sink.
Craig Thomler (in the 2010 top ten in the world who are changing politics and the Internet) is also a public servant and prolific blogger who writes http://egovau.blogspot.com/ .
He has further information on the case at this page: http://egovau.blogspot.com/2010/09/when-traditional-media-exposes-public.html
Within that post there are also numerous links to all the further commentary that has been generated, it is all well worth investigating.
Public servants with the new look APS values and Gov 2.0 agenda are now being encouraged to engage online:
… consistent with APS values and code of conduct, APS employees should be actively encouraged and empowered to engage online
– (Gov. 2.0 report)
Let us hope that this outing does not put many actual or potential public servant bloggers/writers off.
Public servants have rights as citizens which are entrenched in the APS values, Codes of Conduct and law, but they also recognise they have responsibilities. The repsonsibilities concern not divulging any information gained through work, or discussing your own department etc., these are clearly understood and there is no suggestion that Grog’s Gamut transcended these requirements.