Democracy Day: How to participate

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY DAY?

Democracy Day is an effort announced earlier this year to draw attention to the crisis facing American democracy, provide the public with the context and information they need, and bring all types of media together to sound the alarm collectively. We want to incentivize media coverage through a nationwide journalism collaborative, one day where print, radio, TV, and digital media on the national and local level can come together to report on the threats to democracy that we’re facing.

WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?

Democracy Day is set for Sept. 15, 2022 to coincide with the International Day of Democracy.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

The Democracy Day team is actively recruiting newsrooms across the U.S. to be a media partner in the collaborative. Any news organization in the U.S. can participate.  If you’re with an organization that doesn’t produce news, you can join to help amplify and promote the effort.

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?

To participate, you will need to:

— Get a commitment to participate from your organization and its leadership.
Sign up to be a media partner.
— Agree to the expectations regarding what is required and encouraged for media partners.
— Once you sign up, we will be in touch with more information, including suggested taglines, branding you can use, webinar dates, etc.

MEDIA PARTNER REQUIREMENTS

To participate, media partners will be asked to:

— Allow your name and logo to be added to the media partner page.
— Produce at least one story or piece of content (but we encourage more!) from the content menu below on Sept. 15, outside of a paywall if you have one.
— Share back links to stories, broadcasts, podcasts, etc., with the Democracy Day team so we can compile them.
— If you’re not with a newsroom, we will ask you to promote Democracy Day to your networks.

CONTENT MENU

Lower effort

— Candidate profiles through the lens of their support or opposition to voting rights or other policies that relate to democratic participation and protection.
— Stories about how elections are conducted in your city/region/state — the process behind the scenes, highlighting the credibility of the process.
— Stories about how voting works, how to vote, changes in voting laws or polling locations, information about how to access absentee ballots, early voting, etc.
— Coverage of civic holidays like National Voter Registration Day and Vote Early Day.
— Stories about new citizens being registered to vote, with someone’s story of how they were able to join our democracy, and what their plan is for participating.
— Profiles or other humanizing pieces about people working in government or local election offices (to combat vilification).
— Profiles of local poll workers to humanize that position, and help show that the people who run the process are neighbors and encourage others to get involved.

 

Medium effort

— Transparency stories that explain your newsroom’s approach to democracy and elections coverage (what you will do and won’t do)
— Articles about how the transition of power works in your municipality, city or state, including a look back at the tradition, any laws governing it, and a look ahead to what is expected and how it works. How much preparation goes into it, and when does it start behind the scenes?
— Articles that explore some of the most well-known constitutional rights, including the First Amendment — its history, notable legal cases, and what is allowed and not allowed, and how violations are punished or not punished.
— Articles examining how checks and balances work in your municipality, city or state. Explain the branches of government and what it can do on its own, and what they must work together on, and what happens in times of disagreement.
— Editorials or opinion pieces about threats to democracy and ways to strengthen democracy.
— Community-sourced pieces of personal stories about why we shouldn’t take democracy for granted.

 

Higher effort

— Reporting about threats to democracy or actions to support democracy in your community.
— How to: explain ways and organizations locals can get involved with related to democracy (E.g., host a ballot party, volunteer with X organization).
— Engaged journalism that democratizes your own newsroom. Take and answer the public’s questions for candidates, about the mechanics of voting, or how journalism relates to democracy.
— User guide to local democracy (who runs it, what do they do, what are all of the ways you can participate?).
— Stories that feature who’s making progress and how when it comes to increasing voter turnout, making voting easily accessible to all citizens, ensuring fairness in redistricting, or other ways groups or municipalities are strengthening democracy.
— Proactive stories that warn readers about what to expect on election day & related threats (see slide 13 of this presentation for ideas).

WHAT IF I PLAN TO PUBLISH BEFORE SEPT. 15?

That’s fine, too! We’ve created this submission form so you can share democracy-related content and coverage with us (published or unpublished). We can showcase it here and share it on social media, or we can publish it right here on the Democracy Day website and then share/promote it.

SOUND GOOD? SIGN UP!

📺 WATCH THE FIRST DEMOCRACY DAY WEBINAR

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.

We also hear incredible and inspirational words from guest speakers Michael Bolden (@michaelbolden) and Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu).

Click here to read the full text or listen to a recording of Michael Bolden’s remarks.

QUESTIONS? NEED MORE INFO? GET IN TOUCH!

💝  Email us for more info about how to financially support Democracy Day.

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is providing infrastructure support for this first iteration of Democracy Day, so you can contact us at info@usdemocracyday.org.

Still have questions? Contact the Center for Cooperative Media directly by sending an email to murrayst@montclair.edu.