” . . . in how they are governed.” So spoke President Obama in today’s address to the United Nations, evoking the language of the 1945 UN charter. Today, most Americans feel they lack this ability. The challenge to nation’s print and electronic newsmedia, let along to the President himself, is to ensure that the American people have it. To lack it is to lack democracy’s foundational right: that of self-government.
From all this it follows that the future of journalism is no longer with traditional news reporting – which transfers the news to passive audiences – but rather with the transfer of the news to active audiences – to citizens who use the news to interact proactively and productively with each other, with journalists, and with governments – all this at local, state, national and even international levels. The traditional duty of the press to inform citizens is evolving into a duty to mediate between citizens and governments.
This, and this alone, is democracy. Yo, Palo Alto lurkers: we are happy that you following us – anything keeping you from talking back?