Democratic Information Communities

25 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2010

See all articles by Peter M. Shane

Peter M. Shane

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2010


In order that American communities may thrive in a 21st century democratic context, both individuals and organizations across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors must intentionally dedicate themselves to promoting an inclusive flow of information designed to support collective problem-solving, the coordination of community activity, public accountability, and connectedness within the community. Our national commitment to democracy – to ideals of political liberty and equality – means not only that local communities need information adequate for these purposes, but that our practices of information creation, organization, analysis, and transmission be democratic in character. This creates a special community need for good journalism, for a for-profit media environment attentive to issues of access, diversity, relevance, and media power, and for nonprofit institutions that develop and organize information in the public interest that assist communities by actively facilitating democratic conversation for community agenda-setting, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Communities that pursue these aims should be considered “democratic information communities.”

Keywords: information, media, journalism, communities, civic engagement

Suggested Citation

Shane, Peter M., Democratic Information Communities (October 1, 2010). Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 133, Available at SSRN: or

Peter M. Shane (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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