Assessing Community Information Needs: A Practical Guide

Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Monday, October 17, 2011
12:30 pm

Release of the final in a series of eight white papers aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. The paper—"" by Richard C. Harwood—proposes four guideposts and nine strategies for communities to assess and build a healthy information environment.

The formal release will take place during a roundtable discussion among a group of 30 leaders, innovators, advocates and experts representing national and local businesses, nonprofit and civic organizations, and foundations. Following a brief presentation of the paper, these experts will debate the best ways to incorporate the strategies for civic innovation and renewal highlighted in the paper, with the goal of building stronger, more effective local news and information environments. Strategies highlighted in the paper include creating authentic, credible steering committees to guide the work; mapping community concerns; mobilizing the community as a resource; cultivating boundary-spanning organizations; telling the community's story of change; and ensuring enough entry points for people to engage.

The roundtable will be streamed live at