What information do Americans need to accomplish the personal goals and to be effective citizens in our democracy? How are they getting their news and information? And what would they do to improve the quality of news and information available to them?
For the last year, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy has been meeting in an effort to identify the information needs of communities in a local geographically-driven democracy, assess how and whether those needs are being met, and recommend steps to improve the fulfillment of those needs.
We have now prepared a draft intro of our report. Now the Commission, in partnership with PBS Engage, is seeking public input from citizens across the nation from Tuesday April 21 – Friday May 8, 2009. If this topic matters to you (and it should), could you please click on over to PBS and share your thoughts. In addition to seeking feedback about our draft, we want to know:
- Where do you find your information? Newspapers? Online? Television? Radio?
- In your local community, what kinds of information do you need to inform the decisions you make and improve your understanding of the community in which you live?
- How can local governments improve public access to the information communities need?
- Do you think everyone in your community has access to the networks they need (online or in-person) to find important information?
- How would you improve the quality of information available to the general public?
I hope you’ll take the time to contribute your thoughts on this matter. We are hoping to help push folks in power to think about how society is shifting and how we can leverage this moment in time to enhance democratic life.