Apply to be a 2024 U.S. Democracy Day ambassador and recruit newsrooms to join the effort

Deadline to apply is April 15 and compensation is $1,500

4 min readMar 28, 2024

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U.S. Democracy Day was launched in 2022 as a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the threats to democracy in the United States. Our goal then — and now — is to encourage as many newsrooms as possible to create content about democracy leading up to, and on, Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy.

Since then, 163 newsrooms across 43 states have produced more than 380 pieces of content that demystify how democracy functions in practice at the hyperlocal, statewide, and national levels. Our participants have established Documenters chapters, exposed right-wing disinformation campaigns, partnered with civic groups on community events, and used Democracy Day as the impetus for year-round practice change.

In 2024, U.S. Democracy Day hopes to continue its mission of meeting newsrooms of all shapes and sizes where they’re at by creating its first-ever ambassador program, which will empower news leaders and changemakers to recruit new participants across public media, broadcast media, and the national press.

What makes a good ambassador?

U.S. Democracy Day is seeking 4 to 8 ambassadors who are able and willing to help recruit a diverse coalition of news publishers to commit to participating in Democracy Day on Sept. 15, 2024. The Democracy Day team will encourage participating newsrooms to experiment with reporting and engagement strategies that make election reporting more accessible, digestible, navigable, and transparent.

A Democracy Day ambassador is:

  • Ready and excited to recruit newsrooms to participate in a democracy-driven collective.
  • A leader (remember, you don’t have to have a management title to be a leader!) with access to a strong network of reporters and editors across the U.S.
  • Tapped into — and ready to ask about — the needs of newsrooms across the U.S. when it comes to covering elections, democratic backsliding, misinformation, and politics writ large
  • Familiar with and passionate about Democracy Day’s mission of abandoning horse-race reporting in favor of journalism that engages and empowers audiences as voters.
  • Persistent and unafraid to take big swings, network, and — most importantly — challenge the words “no,” “why?” or “we’re not ready yet.”

Democracy Day seeks to recruit diverse ambassadors representing different geography, racial and ethnic groups, genders, ages, and abilities. We are also particularly interested in candidates with strong connections to broadcast, public, and national media.

Roles and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the advisory board include:

  • Attend five monthly 45-minute meetings, from May to September.
  • Recruit new Democracy Day participants and answer questions they may have about logistics, requirements, or participating.
  • Communicate the needs of newsrooms to Democracy Day organizers with the potential to collaborate on programming such as webinars, panels, blog posts, and training resources.
  • Provide input on Democracy Day’s priorities, messaging, and promotion strategies.
  • Share information about Democracy Day with their networks.

Compensation

Democracy Day Ambassadors will receive a stipend of $1,500 for their time.

What else do you get out of it?

Our ambassador program provides:

  • A reason to network with editors, newsroom managers, and other journalists who care about preserving democracy.
  • Exposure to the power of collaborative journalism.
  • A meaningful leadership opportunity.
  • The chance to contribute to a collaborative with the potential to push the industry forward.

How to apply

Fill out the brief application form by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 15, 2024. We hope to get back to all applicants during the week of April 22 with a decision.

A button that reads “APPLY TODAY” and links to the ambassadors application.

Questions about Democracy Day’s ambassador program or the application? Email our project coordinator Beatrice Forman at beatrice@usdemocracyday.org.

Beatrice Forman is the project coordinator for U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide, pro-democracy reporting collaborative. Contact her via email at beaformanwrites@gmail.com.

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 operational and project funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, NJ Civic Information Consortium, Rita Allen Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation and the Independence Public Media Foundation. For more information, visit centerforcooperativemedia.org.

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Aspiring journalist first, recovering Swiftie second. Writing about diversity in tech & entrepreneurship, consumer trends, and all things pop culture.