The Report of The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy
Citizens frequently have no obvious recourse short of litigation when they are denied their information rights. The Commission supports the efforts of local nonprofit groups to gather and disseminate a wide variety of data on community conditions. Government could support and facilitate disclosure efforts far more aggressively. The bottom line for local communities is that people need relevant and credible information in order to be free and self-governing. The Commission concludes:
• The current economic challenges facing private news media could pose a crisis for democracy.
• Public media should provide better local news and information. • Not-for-profit and nontraditional media can be important sources of journalism.
• Public information belongs to the public. Government must be more open.
• Informed communities should be able to measure their information health.
Published on Feb 5, 2010