As I embark upon new work here in Lowell, MA, I am beginning to think through in a broader sense what a community communication systems looks like. What are its defining features? I have come up with some preliminary thoughts which I hope will expand and develop as I add new knowledge and thoughts into my day-to-day work.
So here is what I have thus far, a COMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS system:
=> preserves and promotes our cultural heritage
=> is accountable to the people it serves
=> is open to all to participate
=> engages its citizens in important dialogues and debates (civic engagement)
=> supports and develops the social and economic life of its citizens
=> resists commercialization and explointation of public ICT resources
=> is flexible and broad in order to provide the right tool for the right situation
=> builds the communication skills (both the message making and tool weilding varieties) of tis community
=> insists on a culture of sharing and public exchange
=> champiions free and creative expression
What are other markers? It is easy to see how such a system differs from mass mediated and commercial communication systems, but how does it differ from our current “public” communication systems? I’m interested in what others have to offer.