Several times over the past year you have read in these pages about KRCB's community engagement initiative. As you know we are seeking ways to combine the power of our broadcast resources with the power of the web and our community outreach activities in order to encourage, stimulate, and support community conversations.
Community conversations can and should be about a wide range of topics. As we have held mini-conversations with a variety of residents over the past 9 months we have asked folks to let us know what's on their mind. Several issues are frequently mentioned - transportation (not necessarily focused on 101, but on public transportation), health care, and water.
Two other, what I would call conditions, are mentioned which might be considered larger systemic concerns in our communities. One is that of isolation, many types of isolation. Folks mentioned isolation along geographic, ethnic, racial, and income lines. We don't seem to be doing a good job of speaking across some of these divides to address the issues mentioned above. In addition, a significant growing divide between rich and poor was noted, another type of isolation with likely far reaching consequences.
As we re-shape KRCB's service in the new media and communications world, the need for these community conversations will be at the heart of that service.