Public communication of a municipality (or part thereof) about matters that may affect the local community in any way. Local publicity relies on information – information made publicly available, received, processed, discussed–, and on the communication of opinions and positions thus shaped. A prerequisite to the functioning of local publicity is that each local has access to the information and can participate in the communication – indeed, without this we cannot speak about public communication. (Access means that communication has to be made
accessible, i.e. one needs to ensure that information is understandable for the locals, and that everybody can be part of the communication regardless of their capabilities.) Participants of local publicity are local inhabitants and their groups, local institutions, organizations, companies and the local government. Communication runs among the locals or between the locals and/or the other participants, in all directions. Ideally, local publicity guarantees the functioning of local democracy, making sure that informed citizens can enforce their will and can control public authorities. Social publicity may be interpreted as space, population, degree of organization, an opportunity to access and to join in, a structured relationship between the political state and society or, in a somewhat broader and simplified sense, as a system of social connections.
Publicity makes possible an exchange of opinions and the transfer of information, and may help in processing that information, thus making people more self-conscious. It may contribute to the evolution of self-expression and self-determination, it is a precondition to self-organization and collaboration, and may help to mobilise reserves in human resources and foster the evolution of public agreement and more rational decisions.
The significance of publicity – especially local publicity – lies in the fact that it offers people the opportunity to exercise control over public authorities in some way, locally as well as on state level. Good publicity also lies in the interests of the executive powers as it provides better insight into the citizens’ interests and problems.
This article based on the following document: Community development methodological guide