Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tolerance and the web, and transparency

The fields of news and knowledge are foundational to vital democratic society. People who enjoy access to free, fair, and high-quality news media per se become more effective citizens: they understand more about how their community works, and they’re more likely to participate in making the decisions that shape their lives.

Confronted by that sort of transparency, government, business, and other institutions necessarily become more accountable for what they do. The free flow of knowledge makes possible other forms of social change—advances in health care, wealth distribution, environmental policy. The upside is incredible.

Keith Hammonds is a member of Ashoka's new Social Entrepreneurs in Journalism program. More of the interview here.

I found this via an excellent piece that interrogates the Pew Internet 2020 scenarios. It includes the following:

Perhaps the new office of the CIO in the Obama administration may influence the development of the Internet in a manner more conducive to better race relations in the US. The technologies used could well be adapted and adopted in other countries and regions. Citizen themselves can inspire and engender political will, holding rulers accountable for their actions in ways, enabled by new media and the Internet, that hark back to the tenets of direct democracy.

Is this possible, I wonder?

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