Core Principles for Community Networking (Doug Schuler) FWD

Tom Boland (
Sun, 7 Dec 1997 22:11:34 -0800 (PST)

FWD from <>

"Core Principles for Community Networking:
Towards the Radical Center"--by Doug Schuler

206.634.0752 (office)
206.632.1659 (home)

I think at times that we forget or stray from the core principles that are
often unstated, but, nevertheless, critical to community networking. I
believe that the community networking community needs to concentrate on
these core principles and make them a more prominent part of what we do and
say. As many of you know, I feel that there is a struggle for the soul of
cyberspace and our work has never been more critical. The following list
captures some of the principles that, I feel, we must endorse. Each item on
the list is important and each item is something the average person can
both understand and support.

       Universal access to communication infrastructure
       Strengthenig civic society and civic values
       Focus on the underserved, economically disenfranchised
       Fundamental right to privacy
       Opposition to media concentration
       Support of diverse, alternative, and marginalized voices
       Partnerships with civic organizations and instituions
       Commitment to strong democracy
       Freedom of speech and expression
       Access to government information
       Build the systems on local needs using local people and
organizations as    co-developers

Community networking is a potentially an important civic asset, like public
education, free fire and police protection, and public libraries. For that
reason I believe that it is our duty to establish an unabashedly idealistic
program and build a strong and active constituency around it. Without this
dedication, it's just a hobby...

I am anxious to hear your reactions - both positive and negative - to these
core principles. Thanks!

___Doug Schuler