Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In the News: Sunshine Week articles and links to be aware of

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"We’ve become so accustomed to frequently and easily accessing information on demand — from more sources and in more forms than at any other time in history — that it’s easy to forget how quickly our information landscape has evolved and what that evolution means for us as individuals, as news consumers and as participants in a democracy. 
It can also be easy to forget how much the information we choose to read, watch and hear really matters. It’s the basis for many of the decisions we make — for ourselves, for our families and for our civic society. It helps us determine the kind of lives we lead, the social and political structures we want to change or preserve and the kind of world we inhabit. It is the very foundation of both personal empowerment and a robust democracy. 
To be meaningfully engaged with the world around us, we must be informed. But what does that mean in an age of information overload in which so much “content” isn’t what it appears to be? How, in other words, can we know what to believe?"

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“All politics is local.” This famous quote by Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and proud son of Massachusetts, is used so often that it often seems cliché. But its frequent usage underscores the profound truth that drives decisions made by those in government, whether it be at city or town hall, the state house or the U.S. Capitol, and even the White House. 
In this regard it is critical that citizens feel empowered, and in fact encouraged, to communicate with their elected and appointed officials utilizing both traditional and new, innovative means of communication. 
The advent of social media has impacted every sector of society, with both positive and negative consequences. The internet and the explosive expansion of the use of handheld devices and tablets have facilitated new means of communication and commerce. People now email and text much more frequently, reducing the utilization of landline telephones at home or work. This technology has lowered the cost of entry into sectors of the economy and created new, disruptive businesses such as Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and Venmo, a mobile payment service."

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"Want to be a more informed and engaged citizen? Here are suggested websites: 
U.S. Congress: Members of Congress and tracking legislation, 
Watch live and video of the Senate, and the House, at 
Federal Election Commission: Campaign financing in federal elections, including how much campaigns are raising and spending, and who’s contributing, 
Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance: Campaign financing in state and local elections, how much campaigns are raising and spending, and who’s contributing,"

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screen grab of  The News Literacy Project
screen grab of  The News Literacy Project

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