Posted July 20th, 2012 by seanm
For Immediate Release
July 20, 2012
Future of Community Information - Workshop held
Access Humboldt convenes local leaders to discuss the health of the “information ecosystem.”
On July 17th, leaders from across Humboldt County participated in a “Future of Community Information” workshop designed to build a useful framework for informing communities to sustain democracy in the digital age. The meeting was held as part of Access Humboldt’s ongoing effort to develop next-generation community broadband and media access resources to meet local needs and interests. This is the first community information project in the region to be supported by a grant from the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Workshop was based on Knight's Community Information Toolkit (infotoolkit.org).
A "Community Information Scorecard" was also completed for Humboldt County as part of the process - attached below, showing mostly "Fair" results. The Scorecard identified distinct aspects of information Supply, Skills and Infrastructure showing where local resources are strong and where there is room for improvement.
At the Workshop, folks discussed local information needs of diverse populations, from low-income rural communities to policy makers and educators. Conversation centered on the health of the “information ecosystem,” a concept that describes the supply of news and other information, and the skills and infrastructure needed to access these resources. Participants researched the accessibility of local websites, and found that documents like school district budgets were difficult to find, Spanish language options were limited, and important news stories often received coverage from only one source. The groups recommend improvements in broadband infrastructure, expanded digital and print literacy education, development of a local information hub, and user-friendly website redesigns as immediate ways to improve the flow of local information.
Attendees included, among others, representatives from Eureka City Schools, Humboldt County Office of Education, Redwood Community Action Agency, KEET TV, KHSU, United Way, and local government agencies. Heather Equinoss, Program Manager at the Humboldt Area Foundation, facilitated the workshop.
Individuals interested in participating in the next phase of the Future of Community Information project may contact Access Humboldt by phone: 707-476-1798 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access Humboldt is a non-profit community media center on the campus of Eureka High School that represents and advocates on behalf of local government jurisdictions and community anchor institutions, provides training and other services related to digital media production, as well as managing four Humboldt County community access TV channels. As part of the award-winning Digital Redwoods initiative, Access Humboldt is developing a community-based network of dedicated fiber and wireless broadband connections and working with other regional groups to support deployment and adoption of high-speed broadband access for North Coast communities.
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 informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.
Photo attached, from left to right: Laura Olson (California Endowment), Eileen McGee (youth media instructor/independent filmmaker), Katie Whiteside (KHSU-FM), and Zuretti Goosby (local representative for State Senator Noreen Evans)
|7.17.12 Knight Workshop Scorecard (2).pdf||302.57 KB|