Cambridge, Mass. (Boston), April 6-7, 2011 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media
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In 2008, some 80 journalists, educators and citizens at a Journalism That Matters convening at Temple University adopted a consensus statement on media literacy. What would happen if "Beyond Books" participants could reach a consensus on the relationship among libraries, journalism and participatory democracy? To consider the idea, Nancy Kranich and Jorge Reina Schement have drafted this starter document:
A draft consensus statement on libraries, journalism and participatory democracy
Our goal is to work together to create informed, engaged communities and advance 21st-century democracy.
Healthy communities need (individuals and) institutions that (support and) enable broad-based participation in governance, education, and civic life. As journalists, librarians, educators and civic agents, we are committed to communities where members can participate in self-governance. In these communities the common pursuit of truth in the public interest prevails. We uphold essential democratic values of openness, inclusion, participation and empowerment. Our libraries and our free press share a common mission of civic engagement and information transparency.
Journalists and librarians are well positioned to join with the public to strengthen community networks that engage and empower people. Together, they can fill a deficit in the information ecology of 21st century communities. As the tools and missions of these two professions converge, we have begun to explore new ways to work together at the intersection of our professions, in order to serve the information needs of communities. If a synthesis of librarianship and journalism is to evolve, we must create arenas to engage the ideas that will lead to new forms of shared civic experiences and build our capacity to collaborate. We commit ourselves to sustaining the rich dialogue about possibilities for sharing experiences beyond books, begun at the BiblioNews work sessions of April 6-7, 2011, at MIT.