Media Alert: Commission Calls for Urgent Attention to Nation’s Community Information Needs

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Final Report Release Event from Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy

Final Report Release Event from Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy

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, Chief Technology Officer of the United States Aneesh Chopra, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the Department of Commerce Lawrence E. Strickling, Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board Ernest J. Wilson III, and other government officials. Chairman Genachowski will offer remarks.

Other confirmed participants include:
Sherri Hope Culver, President, National Association for Media Literacy Education
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Founder and President, AmericaSpeaks
Vivian Schiller, President and CEO, National Public Radio
Ben Scott, Policy Director, Free Press
Roberta Stevens, President-Elect, American Library Association
John Sturm, President and CEO, Newspaper Association of America

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, 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 Foundation
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 EDT

Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio
555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001
*** Attendees must RSVP and enter on the 6th Street Entrance***

Broadcast Live Feeds:
Fiber optic connections are available on the Switch, AVOC, and VIVX.

Webcast: 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 17 respected leaders from the fields of media, public policy and community organization, including co-chairs Theodore B. Olson and Marissa Mayer. Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president and CEO, and Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute president and CEO, serve as ex-officio members. Peter M. 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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