Briefing Room


Commission directed by Prof. Shane releases findings

October 2, 2009 | Faculty

Moritz Professor Peter M. Shane and the blue-ribbon commission for which he was executive director released a report today in Washington, D.C., setting forth a new vision for healthy, informed, democratic communities.

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy warns of a potential erosion of democracy with the creation of “second-class citizens” in the digital age. Its report, Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age, calls for universal broadband access to help meet the information needs of all Americans.

Shane was praised for his contributions by the commission’s co-chairs, Marissa Mayer and Theodore B. Olson.

“We could not have succeeded without the help of a great many others. Peter M. Shane, the Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law at the Ohio State University, served as our executive director,” Mayer and Olson wrote in the 148-page report. “He bore chief responsibility for programming the commission’s meetings and community forums, and served as the commission’s lead drafter, working in collaboration with Charlie Firestone and with Michael Fancher, the recently retired, 20-year executive editor of the Seattle Times, under whose leadership the Times won four Pulitzer Prizes.”

Shane is expected to take part in a webcasted panel discussion about the report at 12:15 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 2. (The webcast of the entire report launch event begins at 9:30 a.m.)

To watch the webcast and read more about the report, visit