Information is power. This is precisely why we want to get information into the hands of more people. But as we do, we need to account for a new twist in all of this: Spinning the interpretation of the information is even more powerful. And the more that we make information available, the more that those in power twist it to tell their story. When everyone has information, information is no longer nearly as powerful as the ability to control its narrative. So as we challenge the government to make data available, we must also challenge them to do it in a way that doesn't allow them to spin the story in ways that further alienate people.
(...) To capitalize on transparency, we need information literacy. This means media literacy and digital literacy too. Information literacy includes the skills necessary to interpret information in a context. Information literacy isn't something that people develop just because information is available. So assuming that they will emerge once we unlock information is naive. Furthermore, skills aren't distributed randomly across the population. Eszter Hargittai has consistently shown that those who are most privileged in our society are more likely to have information literacy skills. What this means is that those who are most privileged are more equipped to make sense of and use the information that they have access to. If you want information access because you want a better informed citizenry and a fairer society, you must start embracing the importance of information literacy and the need to provide infrastructure to help people build these skills. Providing broadband access is wonderful, but without the skills to make sense of what the Internet provides, access does nothing. The same is true for information transparency. And we can't wait until we get transparency to start creating a citizenry who has the skills to interpret the data that will be made available.
Det virker jo som et innlysende poeng når hun skriver det på denne måten, men frigjøring av offentlig data og annen informasjon er jo ikke noe mål i seg selv. Det er middelet for å gi oss en mer opplyst og bedre fungerende offentlighet.