Media and Democracy: A Report of the 2008 Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society

March 31, 2009  • Richard P. Adler

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Media & Democracy summarizes the insights, recommendations, and initiatives emanating from the 2008 Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS), where participants explored the role of media in enhancing social capital, civic engagement and democratic involvement. In addition to examining the state of newspapers and journalism against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential election, the report discusses proposed projects for harnessing media to spur civic and global engagement. Among the ideas being implemented are the Online Peace Corps, Groundswell and the American Dialogue Initiative, as well as ongoing work by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, which stemmed from the 2007 FOCAS.