What is the Democracy Infusion Project?
The Democracy Infusion Project is designed to help journalism educators show democracy’s impact in every course and on any beat.
The Democracy Infusion Project is a free collection of classroom resources for journalism educators who want every student to learn and understand “how things work” in a democratic society. The project is supported by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University as part of U.S. Democracy Day, which is funded by Democracy Fund.
When it comes to the data, here’s what we know:
— Fewer than half of college-age people (ages 18 to 24) are even registered to vote, and only about a quarter of them voted in the 2022 midterm elections.
— Only about half of the country’s eighth graders have ever taken a civics course, and their test scores fell two points in the most recent testing.
— Only 18 percent of colleges and universities include an American history or civics course in their general education requirements.
Full-semester “journalism and democracy” courses are offered at a few well-established journalism schools. But smaller journalism programs — particularly at state-supported schools and community colleges — are struggling to support just basic journalism courses these days.
The Democracy Infusion Project is designed especially to reach those schools, overloaded faculty and brand-new adjuncts. The lessons and assignments can be incorporated into any media course — sports reporting, magazine editing, photojournalism and more.
The free content includes full lessons and “mini lessons” that demonstrate how to incorporate democracy discussions in any journalism class; sample assignments for individual students and groups; syllabi, quizzes and rubrics; learning goals and objectives.
Educators are welcome to copy, adjust and iterate the content to suit their own courses.
How to get started
Use this starter guide for educators and view this introductory lesson that helps make the case for all journalism students to learn to write about “how things work” in a democracy. It’ll come in handy when you have students who are anxious or confused by the concept.
Once you’ve reviewed the intro materials, click the button below to access the full collection of learning resources:
Our first cohort of pilot participants
Each piece of content in the Democracy Infusion Project includes an informal “instant feedback” form for all users. This form — along with formalized feedback from a group of six professors piloting the curriculum for the fall 2023 semester — will be used to modify and improve the content for future use.
|University of Wisconsin-Stout
|University of Texas-El Paso
|University of Oregon, Clark Community College
|Pro Tem instructor
|University of Texas at Austin
|Auburn University, Belmont University
|DePaul University (Chicago)
|Assistant teaching professor
✨ We hope you’ll review and use the Democracy Infusion Project materials, and we welcome your suggestions and questions. We’ve made it easy to contact us with your thoughts.
QUESTIONS? NEED MORE INFO? GET IN TOUCH!
Still have questions? Contact the Center for Cooperative Media directly by sending an email to [email protected].