The White House's press office trumpeted a new online forum for Internet users to ask the administration policy questions in conjunction with the unveiling of America Online's new "Government Guide."
Every week, America Online subscribers are invited to submit questions they want to ask the White House, and AOL will pick the top five most frequently asked questions for the administration to answer. The White House is also reaching out to other online organizations with news groups to host similar forums.
"This new service, 'Ask the White House,' presents a unique opportunity for the public to ask questions of the White House, through an Internet news organization, about the important policies and issues that make up the president's agenda," the administration said in a statement.
This week, AOL members' top five topics for questions were the World Trade Organization, health care, military readiness, the federal budget and Social Security. AOL's new government guide contains a directory of more than 4,000 government Web sites.
A White House spokesman said the forum was part of an overall strategy by the press office to better reach out to Internet users and news organizations.