The Role of Media in Building Trust in the Democratic Process
Local journalists have long been a trusted source of information when it comes to our elections. Yet with traditional newsrooms becoming less populous across the country, particularly in rural areas, over one-fifth of Americans currently live in “news deserts” with little to no access to local news sources.
At the same time, bad actors are working to undermine confidence in our elections and manipulate election results for their own political gain. So-called election deniers frequently make false or misleading claims about how elections work, sowing distrust among voters and threatening the very fabric of our democracy.
In this current environment, journalists are having to navigate the onslaught of mis- and disinformation surrounding our electoral process in a whole new way, sometimes on a shoestring budget. Panelists discussed the state of local news and how this impacts voters’ understanding of the electoral processes in their states. Additionally, panelists discussed how journalists make critical decisions that could impact the way voters view elections and how they are using lessons learned from the 2020 election to prepare for 2024.