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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Civics and Media Project?
The Civics and Media Project is a group of stakeholders who have an interest in examining in a structured manner whether citizens and communities will be getting the news and information they want and need in 2030.

2. Who specifically are we talking about?
Partner agencies include the Victoria University School of Government and media studies department, the University of Auckland Faculty Of Arts, the Royal Society of New Zealand, the McGuinness Institute, NZ On Air and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The participating organisations sought each other out because each has responsibilities or work that meant it was worth working together.

3. What is the purpose?
The purpose of the project is to inform and encourage public discourse and engagement regarding civics and media, with the ultimate aim of informing decisions by individuals, industry and institutions across society.

4. Why is this worth looking at?
Open, democratic and inclusive societies have better social and economic prosperity.

News and information are fuel to the engine of democratic society.

There are major social and technological trends afoot that bring challenges and opportunities.

New Zealand’s demography is changing more rapidly and widely than most countries. Domestic and global media markets are in state of major disruption. Civic participation has traditional and emerging contemporary forms that bring new opportunities.

5. Isn’t New Zealand doing ok?
New Zealand ranks highly on any number of measures such as transparency, media freedom and civic engagement.

In light of the social, technological and media market changes it is worth ensuring we keep that status.

6. Has anyone already looked at the issues?
The project is modelled in part on the US Federal Communications Commission’s Information Needs of Communities report and is informed by work in the UK and Australia.

In New Zealand, aspects of the issues have been examined from a number of angles but not in full.

7. What is planned?
3 workshops are planned for late 2015.

Workshop 1 hosted by the Victoria University School of Government and media studies department looks at the state and trends in civic participation and the state and trends in news and information with a view to 2030.

Workshop 2 is hosted by the University of Auckland Faculty of the Arts and will examine what a well-informed society looks like in 2030.

Workshop 3 is hosted by the Royal Society and McGuinness Institute and looks at what individuals, communities, business and government might do to maintain a well-informed society in 2030.

8. So what are the takeaways from this work?
The workshops will generate papers and reports that are intended for general use.

9. Who benefits?
A successful set of workshops means:

Business get:

  • Insight into sustainable business models
  • Insight into evolving market preferences

Citizens/communities get:

  • Insight into opportunities to improve civics and media literacy, access to news content and new ways of connecting to civic participation
  • Insight into the potential of new media and new forms of civic engagement

Government gets:

  • monitoring of the domestic and international news media landscape
  • insight for future policies on civics and media matters.

10. Is it open to anyone?

Workshop papers and reports will be publicised on the website when they become available

Workshop participation is limited by numbers and invitations are based on expertise and ensuring a range of perspectives.

The nature of the topics for workshops 2 and 3 mean that opportunities to participate will be provided via social media.

We hope the workshops spawn others to use the material and take it further.