The new democracy collaborative out of Philly is kind of a big deal
Collaborative journalism initiatives are a crucial tool for upholding the principles of our democracy. In today’s media environment, where the spread of mis- and disinformation poses an ongoing and existential threat to the integrity of our election process, it is more important than ever for journalists to work together to provide accurate, reliable information to the public.
That’s why I was thrilled to learn about the launch of the new Every Voice, Every Vote collaboration out of Philadelphia.
The project boasts “a coalition of 52 media and community organizations that will share resources to discover what topics are most important to residents in [the 2023 Philadelphia mayoral and city council elections], and to report deeply on those topics in various media outlets,” according to WHYY.
The 25 media partners include WHYY, Billy Penn, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Tribune, WURD, Al Dia News, Grid Magazine, and Philadelphia Gay News.
By bringing together local news organizations in Philadelphia, the Lenfest Institute is providing critical support to journalism and helping to ensure that all voices are heard in the upcoming 2023 election. The Center for Cooperative Media has partnered with Lenfest on several projects in the past, and they know how vital this kind of support is to the health of our democracy.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am incredibly grateful to the Lenfest Institute for their continued commitment to local journalism and civic engagement.
But the importance of initiatives like Every Voice, Every Vote goes beyond just the 2023 election. In the long term, supporting local journalism and increasing voter turnout is essential to the functioning of our democracy. Local news outlets provide critical information about our communities, and without them, residents may not have access to the facts they need to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
Through collaborative reporting, news organizations can pool their resources and expertise to investigate complex issues and provide a more comprehensive view of the events and decisions shaping our communities. This type of journalism not only helps to hold our elected officials accountable, but it also empowers residents to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
This is especially important in local elections, where a small number of votes can make a big difference in the outcome.
In short, collaborations like Every Voice, Every Vote are vital to the health of our democracy and I’m excited to see where the project goes. I also hope other funders will use it as a model for future collaborative reporting support.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a 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, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy 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.