We talk a lot about the digital divide and the lack of local news coverage in communities across the country, and how this absence of information affects civic participation, quality of life and our democracy. We are facing a growing information divide that is leaving more and more people with less and less access to the basic information that helps them make choices about their jobs, families and communities. We have to approach the challenge of meeting these information needs with a national effort, as it is fundamental to the health of our democracy and a just society.
But first we have to answer a few core questions: How do we define the information needs of communities, and how do we measure them? What metrics should we use and what tools do we need? Are communities receiving quality news and information? A panel at the Free Press Summit delved into these questions because understanding our communities information needs will shape the policies and solutions we fight for in our quest for a better media system. (more…)