Unmet Community Info Needs Roundtable: Judy Nadler

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Judy is a Senior Fellow in Government Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University whose focus is helping people disseminate the information provided to make better decisions.

She shares the power of ethics and transparency in government agencies and the need for civil engagement. A nice example she gave was around the San Jose, CA city government offices opening up their calendars to the public to show when they were meeting, who they are meeting with and why they were meeting – all in an attempt to educate the public on what was happening in their local community and how resources were  being spent. It is bringing more people to the town halls and getting the community better engaged.

In her eyes, ‘providing information to the public is not a luxury – it is a necessity’ and is critical to building and sustaining healthy communities.

Judy suggests more local news needs to be produced, using more friendly and easy to understand language. Journalists should have an understanding of how the government works, and the channels we feed news through.
As content and usability vary greatly from county to county (some use webcasts that are archived, others use blogs, many do nothing) these differences need to be addressedto ensure news is received by those that need it and they continue to find ways to engage the younger generation to ensure longevity of the media outlets and the strength of the community.

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