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New Report from Knight Commission on Democracy in the Digital Age

The Knight Commission released its report Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age on Friday (October 2, 2009). The report was officially released at an event at the Newseum in Washington, DC on Friday, with a series of panels of government officials and others.

The Commission seeks to start a national discussion – leading to real action. Its aims are to maximize the availability and flow of credible local information; to enhance access and capacity to use the new tools of knowledge and exchange; and to encourage people to engage with information and each other within their geographic communities. All are welcome to participate in the national dialogue on the Commission’s recommendations by commenting on the report via the internet or through twitter at #knightcomm.

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is a group of 17 media, policy and community leaders. Its purpose is to assess the information needs of communities, and recommend measures to help Americans better meet those needs. The Knight Commission sees new thinking about news and information as a necessary step to sustaining democracy in the digital age.

Here are the 14 recommendations in the report:
Recommendation 1: Direct media policy toward innovation, competition, and support for business models that provide marketplace incentives for quality journalism.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-1>

Recommendation 2: Increase support for public service media aimed at meeting community information needs.  Read more…<http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-2>

Recommendation 3: Increase the role of higher education, community and nonprofit institutions as hubs of journalistic activity and other information sharing for local communities.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-3>

Recommendation 4: Require government at all levels to operate transparently, facilitate easy and low-cost access to public records, and make civic and social data available in standardized formats that support the productive public use of such data.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-4>

Recommendation 5: Develop systematic quality measures of community information ecologies, and study how they affect social outcomes.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-5>

Recommendation 6: Integrate digital and media literacy as critical elements of education at all levels through collaboration among federal, state, and local education officials.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-6>

Recommendation 7: Fund and support public libraries and other community institutions as centers of digital and media training, especially for adults.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-7>

Recommendation 8: Set ambitious standards for nationwide broadband availability and adopt public policies encouraging consumer demand for broadband services.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-8>

Recommendation 9: Maintain the national commitment to open networks as a core objective of Internet policy.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-9>

Recommendation 10: Support the activities of information providersto reach local audiences with quality content through all appropriate media, such as mobile phones, radio, and public-access cable.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-10>

Recommendation 11: Expand local media initiatives to reflect the entire reality of the communities they represent..  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-11>

Recommendation 12: Engage young people in developing the digital information and communication capacities of local communities.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-12>

Recommendation 13: Empower all citizens to participate actively in community self-governance, including local community summits to address community affairs and pursue common goals.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-13>

Recommendation 14: Emphasize community information flow in the design and enhancement of a local communitys public spaces..  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-14>

Recommendation 15: Ensure that every local community has at least one high-quality online hub.  Read more… <http://report.knightcomm.org/recommendation-15>

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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