Community Forum Open to the Public Explores “Meeting the Public’s Information Needs in Silicon Valley”

September 3, 2008  • Institute Contributor

Contact: Erin Silliman
Aspen Institute
P: (202) 736-5818; C: (614) 286-6501

Community Forum Open to the Public Explores “Meeting the Public’s Information Needs in Silicon Valley”

Silicon Valley Leaders in Governance, Media, and Civic Activism Offer Insights to the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy


Are Silicon Valley citizens getting the information they need in order to solve community problems, coordinate civic activity, maintain public accountability, and foster the human connectedness that is the backbone of both community and democracy?

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy ( is conducting a year long study to identify the information needs of communities in a democracy, assess how and whether those needs are being met, and recommend steps to improve the fulfillment of those needs.

In addition to reviewing research on information access and trends, including media developments, new technology, and innovations in civic and government communication, the Commission is soliciting testimony from national experts and holding community forums to hear from local citizens and practitioners about the “information ecosystems” in their communities.

The Commission will issue a report in 2009 offering recommendations for achieving the news and information environment that democratic communities need in order to thrive.

Roundtable contributors offering informed perspectives are listed below.  To view the full meeting agenda, click here.

  • Richard Adler, President, People & Technology, Institute for the Future
  • Jim Bettinger, Director, John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists, Stanford University
  • Chava Bustamante, Staff Coordinator, SEIU Local 1877 
  • Emmett Carson, CEO and President, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Muhammed Chaudhry, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Education Foundation
  • Linjun Fan, Albany Today blog
  • Matt Hammer, Executive Director, People Acting in Community Together 
  • Raj Jayadev, Founder, Silicon Valley De-Bug 
  • Mike McGuire, Research Vice President, Gartner 
  • Judy Nadler, Senior Fellow in Government Ethics, Santa Clara University
  • Chris O’Brien, Project Manager, The Next Newsroom Project, Economics Reporter and Columnist, San Jose Mercury News 
  • Linda O’Bryon, Chief Content Officer, KQED Public Television
  • George Sampson, News and Program Director, KLIV Radio Station
  • Amra Tareen,
  • Kim Walesh, Chief Strategist, City of San Jose, CA 
  • Holmes Wilson, Co-Founder, Participatory Culture Foundation

WHEN: Monday, September 8, 9AM-5PM 

WHERE: Google Headquarters, Building 43, Tunis Room, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California. Click here for an interactive map.
For driving directions and parking, click here.

RSVP: Members of the media and public who wish to attend MUST RSVP no later than September 5, 2008 with name and affiliation.  Email: or call (202) 736-5818.

WEBCAST: The meeting will be webcast live and available for future viewing on


The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is a 15-member commission assembled to recommend both public and private measures that would help American communities better meet their information needs. The Commission’s research-based approach examines the following three questions: What are the information needs of communities in our American democracy? What are the current trends affecting how community information needs are met? And what changes will ensure that community information needs will be better met in the future?

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change. Nearly 20 years ago, the Knight Foundation created the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. That first Knight Commission has helped restore intercollegiate athletics to the control of university presidents.


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