Media Alert: Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy: Calls for Urgent Attention to Nation’s Community Information Needs

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Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy to Release Final Report and Recommendations

Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy to Release Final Report and Recommendations


  • 15 recommendations for sustaining democracy and meeting America’s information needs.
  • Presented by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.
  • The first major national commission of its kind in the digital age

The release event will feature three panels on the three overriding objectives to begin a national dialogue on the Commission’s findings and recommendations

The report will be released to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and other government officials. Chairman Genachowski will offer remarks.

Commission Members:

  • Theodore B. Olson, Commission Co-Chair, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; former Solicitor General of the United States
  • Marissa Mayer, Commission Co-Chair, Vice President, Search Product & User Experience, Google
  • Alberto Ibargüen, Commission ex-officio member, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Walter Isaacson, Commission ex-officio member, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute
  • danah boyd, Social activist and independent writer on youth and media
  • John S. Carroll, Former editor, Lexington Herald-Leader, Baltimore Sun, and Los Angeles Times
  • Robert W. Decherd, President and CEO, A.H. Belo Corporation
  • Reed E. Hundt, Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  • Benjamin Todd Jealous, President, Rosenberg Foundation and President-Elect, NAACP
  • Mary E. Junck, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lee Enterprises Inc.
  • Monica Lozano, Senior Vice President of ImpreMedia, Publisher & CEO of La Opinión
  • Lisa MacCallum, Managing Director, Nike
  • Andrew Mooney, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Donna D. Nicely, Director, Nashville Public Library
  • Michael K. Powell, Chairman, The MK Powell Group and former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  • Rey Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer, One Economy Corporation
  • Paul Sagan, President and CEO, Akamai
  • Peter M. Shane, Commission Executive Director, Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law, Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law

Friday, October 2, 2009
9:30am-1pm EST

Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio
555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001
*** Attendees must enter on the C Street Entrance***

The event will be webcast live at


The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and organized by the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, is the first major national commission to report on news and information in the digital age. It conducted a year-long study to assess the information needs of communities. It comprises 15 respected leaders from the fields of media, public policy and community organization, including co-chairs Theodore B. Olson and Melissa Mayer. Albert Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president and CEO, and Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute president and CEO, serve as ex-officio members. Peter Shane, the Davis and Davis Chair in Law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, served as the Commission’s executive director.

The Commission held seven public forums and meetings in communities across the nation, and heard from more than 100 people, including community organizers, educators, journalists from old and new media, labor leaders, technology engineers and strategists, entrepreneurs, futurists, public officials, policy analysts, economic consultants and community foundation representatives. The Commission, in association with PBS Engage, also invited public input to its work, receiving over 1,100 recommendations which shaped its final report. More information about the Commission and its work is available at

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, CO, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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