Dear Journalists, Please Do Your Duty for Democracy

Readers need sustained, nuanced election coverage now more than ever

Dan Gillmor
Oct 2, 2018 · 4 min read
Credit: Blend Images — Hill Street Studios/Brand X Pictures/Getty

Instead of the sustained, deep, broad, contextualized coverage elections should have, we’ve gotten sporadic, episodic coverage.

It is not, and that represents a staggering failure.

Journalists can’t fix a corrupt political system. But it’s their absolute duty to give the people who can fix it — voters — the kind of information they need.

It’s also an issue that has a distinctly local angle. Resources are a real issue amid a business-model meltdown, because we vote where we live.

  • How to make sure that their names have not been purged from voter rolls (an increasingly common tactic of voter suppression).
  • How to vote early or by mail, if those choices are available.
  • What tactics, if any, are being used to prevent them from voting, and how to counter them.
  • Security, or lack of security, in voting systems, including whether a jurisdiction’s votes are going to be “counted” by inherently untrustworthy, or unverifiable, machines.
  • All of the above should be pasted at or near the top of journalism organizations’ homepages, pushed out at least daily in social feeds, and (for traditional media) repeated frequently in print editions and broadcasts.

Dan Gillmor

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