Using Civic Media to Build A Better Society

Mar 11, 2021 |
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Part of the Kluge Prize Series from the Library of Congress, this event highlights civic media as a promising counterpoint to the polarizing universe of social media. The Kluge Prize was awarded to Danielle Allen (Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University) who cochaired the Academy’s bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship that produced the report Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century

On March 11, Professor Allen led panelists in a discussion of the role of information in democratic society, addressing the challenges citizens face in consuming the deluge of materials available in the digital age and in identifying trustworthy sources of information. The speakers considered the potential of civic media to inform and educate within the context of the broader social media ecosystem, where the incentives are to spread information regardless of its truth or value. Panelists considered what civic media looks like and how it can compete with social media. 


  • Talia Stroud (University of Texas) a nationally-renowned expert on examining commercially viable and democratically beneficial ways of improving media
  • Brendesha Tynes (University of Southern California) a leader in the study of how young people experience digital media and how these early experiences are associated with academic and emotional development
  • Richard Young, the founder of CivicLex, a non-profit that is using technology, media, and social practice to build a more civically engaged Lexington, Kentucky. CivicLex aims to build stronger relationships between citizens and those who serve them.

This event was the first of three in the Kluge series, entitled Our Common Purpose—A Campaign for Civic Strength at the Library of Congress.” Each event will examine the implications and implementation of recommendations from Our Common Purpose. Future events are How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them (April 15) and Finding a Shared Historical Narrative (May 13).

Image is fromOur Common Purpose” featuring the Juneteenth flag with one star. Artist: Rodrigo Corral.