National Center for Digital Government Working Papers
In the United States the transition to an increasingly digital communication environment under pro-market policies has challenged traditional formulations of media diversity and localism regulation centered on content origination requirements and media ownership. Building on an overview of the participatory development and media policy literatures, this paper argues for a participatory community development approach to the redefinition of these public interest policies in networked scenarios. Asking who is participating in what, and for whose benefit, I propose a diversity matrix of various modalities of community participation in key public service functions of digital information organizations. The paper discusses the advantages of this approach in response to policy concerns about cultural diversity, digital inclusion and democratic governance of local information ecosystems.