On Friday afternoon I am on a panel at the League of Women Voters National Convention that reacts to the Knight Commission report Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age. In doing my homework I came across this in the report, which makes a great checklist for communities which want to be truly “informed communities”:
- People have convenient access to both civic and life-enhancing information, without regard to income or social status.
- Journalism is abundant in many forms and accessible through many convenient platforms.
- Government is open and transparent.
- People have affordable high-speed Internet service wherever and whenever they want and need it.
- Digital and media literacy are widely taught in schools, public libraries and other community centers.
- Technological and civic expertise is shared across generations.
- Local media—including print, broadcast, and new media—reflect the full reality of the communities they represent.
- People have a deep understanding of the role of free speech
and free press rights in maintaining a democratic community.
- Citizens are active in acquiring and sharing knowledge both within and across social networks.
- People can assess and track changes in the community’s information health.