Last March, the Aspen Institute and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation released the white paper Civic Engagement and Community Information: Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication (below). The report was by Peter Levine, director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Included are action item recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, school systems, colleges and universities, foundations and citizens.
From the report:
In short, it remains to be seen whether the new communications media alone are adequate to the task of civic renewal. But certainly the old civil society is in deep decay, and we must rebuild our public sphere with new materials, as our predecessors have done several times in the past.
- Create a Civic Information Corps using the nation’s “service” infrastructure to generate knowledge
- Engage universities as community information hubs.
- Invest in face-to-face public deliberation.
- Generate public “relational” knowledge.
- Civic engagement for public information and knowledge.