Parliament wants youth's text messages

UK project aimed at evaulating the effectiveness of mobile messages

In Britain, members of Parliament are using all the latest technologies to get the young interested in government and politics, reports. The Citizen Callling project, developed by the Hansard Society and Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee, is asking young people to text message their ideas about youth and crime to the project's website.

MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee are using the trial to get views from young people about the criminal justice system. Its chairman John Denham MP has recorded a message - on a mobile phone - and posted it on YouTube and the Citizen Calling site.

The Hansard Society's director of e-democracy Ross Ferguson said many projects are created from the top down, whereas this one will allow young people to choose the best way to communicate.

Over the next four weeks, the site will collect the people's evidence and then the Society will evaluate the effectiveness of phone-based input as opposed to web and offline communication.

Governments are increasingly looking at using new channels such as YouTube to get their message out - but not always with the best results. Earlier this week the Cabinet Office was forced to pull one of the public service videos it published on YouTube due to copyright violation.