Read the latest:
By Joe Amditis, Center for Cooperative Media
Newsrooms of all shapes and sizes joined forces on Sept. 15, 2023 for a historic, nationwide, pro-democracy reporting collaboration. Read more about how Democracy Day came to be.
By Center for Cooperative Media
We paid freelance journalists to write stories so they can be republished by U.S. Democracy Day reporting partners for free! Check out the full list of stories available for republication here.
Introducing the Democracy Infusion Project: A free collection of classroom resources for journalism educators
By Jane Elizabeth, Consult Creative LLC
What if journalism educators took on a larger role in that mission? What if journalism students graduated with a more holistic understanding of democracy?
In 2022, the Community Info Coop joined U.S. Democracy Day with an idea: organize a seed fund for a democracy beat at The Objective, a nonprofit watchdog newsroom examining systems of power and inequity in journalism. Fast forward to 2023, and The Objective has its first two part-time staff covering the media democracy beat with recent stories.
Pro-drama or pro-democracy? Use these checklists to ensure your reporting serves people, not politicians
By Jennifer Brandel, CEO of Hearken
We know how tough it is for people working in newsrooms to carve out time to step back, learn the latest and greatest advice in the field, and then apply it to their work. That’s why we’ve made these handy checklists for reporting on democracy and elections as part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide pro-democracy reporting collaboration.
By Joe Amditis, Center for Cooperative Media
For those who are considering joining our ranks as reporting partners, or for anyone seeking a clearer understanding of what we mean by “pro-democracy reporting,” we’ve crafted this comprehensive content menu. It provides a range of story examples and reporting directions you and your newsroom can explore to engage your audience, promote democratic practices, and contribute to the national conversation on the state of our democracy.
Learn more about Democracy Day:
📺 WATCH: WHAT IS U.S. DEMOCRACY DAY?
The U.S. Democracy Day collaborative got its start ahead of the midterms in 2022. It launched as an effort to encourage news organizations across the country to report more — and better— information about the crisis facing democracy here.
We coalesced around one common publishing/broadcasting date: Sept. 15, which is the International Day of Democracy. A total of 400 news organizations participated, including the Gannett chain and dozens of nonprofit and independent outlets.
As we look ahead to 2023, we know we are really looking ahead to 2024. And we know we need to help news organizations build muscle and capacity for what’s to come.
Thanks to support from Democracy Fund, the organizing committee for U.S. Democracy Day has some exciting plans for this year to accomplish just that. We’re planning training webinars, in-person events, content sharing and more.
DRAW ATTENTION TO THE CRISIS AND HOW INDIVIDUALS CAN RESPOND
Democracy Day is an effort to draw attention to this crisis, provide the public with the context and information they need, and bring all types of media together to sound the alarm collectively.
INCENTIVIZE MEDIA COVERAGE THROUGH A NATIONWIDE COLLABORATIVE
We’d like to provide clear explanations of what’s happening (and what could happen), give practical information on what members of the public can do, and uncover new revelations related to anti-democratic efforts.
We have chosen Sept. 15 as a day when print, radio, TV, and digital media on the national and local level will come together to report on the threat we’re facing. This will include original reporting, aggregations of existing reporting, and op-eds. Through the collaboration, we’ll make some Creative Commons reporting free for all to republish and use across various mediums.
📺 WATCH PREVIOUS DEMOCRACY DAY WEBINARS
July 2023: “Demystifying newsrooms: Explaining your government and democracy coverage,” was co-hosted by Trusting News, as part of the U.S. Democracy Day nationwide collaboration on Sept. 15, 2023. Our speakers, Joy Mayer and Lynn Walsh, shared novel ways to connect with your audience, clarify misassumptions, and create a more engaged community around your journalistic work.
June 2023: The Democracy Beat: A look at the future of collaborative journalism,” was co-hosted by The Objective and the Community Info Coop, as part of the U.S. Democracy Day nationwide collaboration on Sept. 15, 2023. Our speakers, Gabe Schneider and Simon Galperin, shared their experiences in defining “democracy” for their organizations, as well as collaborative fundraising strategies and managing a dedicated democracy beat.
July 2022: This 1-hour virtual session, hosted by the Democracy Day organizing committee, provides an overview of the project and covers items on the Democracy Day content menu, including some great examples for nearly every menu item.
HOW THIS COMPLEMENTS OTHER WORK + HOW IT STARTED
We know that some newsrooms are already thinking about this, and some are even building teams to focus on democracy, like at the Washington Post. Newsrooms like KPCC and the Long Beach Post, meanwhile, are shifting their political coverage to focus on democratic erosion and the voters themselves. We hope this effort will light a fire under newsrooms that haven’t yet thought about this coverage strategically.
We’re organizing this initiative with support from media industry groups, several of which have already signed on to support the effort. This idea is initially being developed by Jennifer Brandel, co-founder and CEO of Hearken and lead strategist on Election SOS and Democracy SOS; Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media; Bridget Thoreson, member collaborations editor at INN; and me, Rachel Glickhouse, learning and labs director at News Revenue Hub. We’re hopeful that an organizational sponsor and funding to manage the project could help us jumpstart this effort.
We believe this effort will encourage more and better reporting on the anti-democratic threats we face. And we hope our actions will serve our country and help protect the rights we hold dear — before it’s too late.
QUESTIONS? NEED MORE INFO? GET IN TOUCH!
💝 Email us for more info about how to financially support Democracy Day.
Still have questions? Contact the Center for Cooperative Media directly by sending an email to [email protected].