February 10, 2022 Center for Cooperative Media

Democracy Day: Sign up to join a national collaboration open to all U.S. media

We’re currently facing an unprecedented assault on our democracy, a clear and present threat to our constitutional rights and our ability as journalists to exist and do our jobs.

But as we inch closer to a possible democratic collapse in 2024, the magnitude of that threat isn’t well-understood by all Americans, nor is it being treated seriously enough by our elected officials. In some cases, elected officials are part of the anti-democratic efforts, and aren’t being held accountable. It’s time for journalists to step up and do more.

That’s why I’m leading a group of people who want to start a U.S. media collaboration that we’re calling Democracy Day.

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.

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 intend to pick a date on which print, radio, TV, and digital media on the national and local level can come together to report on the threat we’re facing. This would include original reporting, aggregations of existing reporting, and op-eds. Through the collaboration, we’d make some Creative Commons reporting free for all to republish and use across various mediums.

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 SOSStefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative MediaBridget 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.

Want to participate or learn more? Sign up here for updates.

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Rachel Glickhouse is the learning and labs director at the News Revenue Hub. Rachel helps Hub partners build and maintain audience strategies. She can be contacted on Twitter at @Riogringa.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a primarily grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. The Center is supported with funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationDemocracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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