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Commission Directed by Professor Shane to Host Inaugural Meeting Tuesday

June 20, 2008

Contact: Barbara Peck, (614) 292-0283

A commission directed by Professor Peter Shane, which is expected to complete the first major news and society study in 40 years, will host its inaugural meeting Tuesday, June 24. The meeting, expected to last between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., will be webcast live at www.knightcomm.org. The meeting will be held at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. An archived video of the meeting will also be posted at the same web address.

In April, Professor Shane was named executive director of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a commission created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Aspen Institute.

The high-level Knight Commission will look into whether the information needs of 21st century American citizens and communities are being met and make recommendations for public policy and private initiatives that will help better meet community information needs.

The Knight Commission, funded by $1.7 million in Knight Foundation grants, will meet in public throughout the year and will operate out of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program.

Professor Shane came to Ohio State in 2003 from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. He is an internationally recognized scholar in administrative law, with a specialty in separation of powers law, and has co-authored leading casebooks on each subject. He has served on the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Law and was dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. In addition to his outstanding law teaching and scholarship, Professor Shane has received a National Science Foundation grant for interdisciplinary study related to cyberspace and democracy. At Ohio State, he provides strong leadership in interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change. Nearly 20 years ago, the Knight Foundation created the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. That first Knight Commission has helped restore intercollegiate athletics to the control of university presidents.

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Its seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with campuses in Aspen, Colo., and on the Wye River near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership initiatives in Africa, Central America, and India. The Communications and Society Program is one of 21 policy programs at the Aspen Institute. It addresses the societal and democratic impact of the communications and information sectors.