Many corporations and foundations in the United States want to see a better and more responsive government. The National Alliance for Public Affairs Networks presents a clear vision of citizen engagement unlike any organization. Many “good government” groups are created with a political agenda. The National Alliance of Public Affairs Networks was created to support the development of a platform that gives citizens direct access to live and archived recordings and materials, as well as ways to engage with policymakers and others who seek solutions to issues, whether they believe government provides the solution or not.

Why is it important to support NAPAN’s efforts?

1. “Every state should have a state public affairs network similar to C-SPAN.”

That is the finding of a special Working Group established by the Federal Communications Commission in a comprehensive 466 page report issued in June 2011. State public affairs networks “contribute to an informed electorate, essential to the proper functioning of government,” the report emphasized.

2. Better informed communities experience higher levels of government responsiveness and political participation.

Social science research supports at least two hypotheses: 1) better-informed communities experience higher levels of government responsiveness, and 2) better-informed communities experience higher rates of political participation, according to the report.

3. Local news coverage of state government is disappearing.

Roughly 13,400 newspaper newsroom positions have been eliminated in the past four years, reflecting the massive layoffs of journalists at newspapers, newsmagazines, and local TV stations across the nation. The result: less coverage, and less thorough coverage, of state and local government, leading to what has been described as a “democracy shortfall.”

4. State public affairs networks are at the core of reinvigorating civic participation and a vibrant democracy.

The FCC Working Group found “state public affairs networks have played an important role, not only providing live coverage of legislative sessions, but hosting candidate debates, issues forums and other civically oriented types of coverage.” But they don’t exist in most states.

We believe it’s worth 30 minutes of your time to consider supporting this unique effort. Through a personal or electronic meeting, we’ll share the data, analysis of the civic landscape and ways that you can be a powerful supporter of changing the nature of discourse in our country.

To set up a meeting or simply ask us some questions, send an email to info@napan.org, or call us at 860-246-1553.