Community Information Toolkit

In July 2012, leaders from across Humboldt County participated in the “Future of Community Information” workshop, a discussion of information accessibility issues designed to advance projects that will increase civic engagement.

The meeting was part of Access Humboldt’s ongoing effort to develop next-generation local media, supported in part by a grant from the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Working groups discussed the media 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.

Community participants are shown here researching local websites as part of the Knight Foundation Community Information Toolkit workshops.

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 group recommends improvements in broadband infrastructure, expanded digital and print literacy education, and user-friendly website redesigns as immediate ways to improve the flow of local information.

Attendees included representatives from Eureka City Schools, Humboldt County Office of Education, Redwood Community Action Agency, KEET TV, KHSU, United Way, and local governments. Heather Equinoss, Program Manager at the Humboldt Area Foundation, facilitated the workshop.

Notes from the workshop and other reports can be downloaded below as PDF files. The Community Information Scorecard, a summary of group findings and additional research, can also be viewed below:

Access Humboldt's implementation of the Community Information Toolkit was made possible by a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.