The Center for Journalism & Democracy will Host Its 2nd Democracy Summit on Nov. 14th at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The Summit starts at 9a and will stream all day.
The Democracy Summit will bring together historians, democracy, technology and other experts as well as leaders in U.S. journalism for a collective unpacking of the present and specific threats to American democracy, the history that shaped this moment, and the journalism profession’s central concepts of fact, objectivity, fairness and balance as they relate to investigating the institutions and individuals central to our system.
The urgency in confronting journalism’s tension with taking a pro-democracy stance in the face of unprecedented attacks on democratic institutions and political upheaval and extreme polarization have not waned following the 2022 midterm elections. Yet the mainstream press still struggles to properly cover and contextualize the erosion of democratic norms and the increasing anti-democratic sentiment taking hold in state houses and in local communities across the nation. Too many journalists continue to treat politics as sport, and worse, continue to create a false sense of balance when covering politicians and political acts that are clearly anti-democratic. Too often, the press lacks the historical knowledge and political context to properly cover a democracy under attack from the local level on up.
That’s why this year’s Democracy Summit will focus on state and local threats to democracy, such as the state of Alabama’s refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling to reinstate a majority Black electoral district; the removal of duly elected officials in Tennessee, Florida and Montana; book bans and other free speech attacks in local communities; growing authoritarianism in Florida and how AI may threaten democracy.
Our profession is the firewall for our democracy, and our tradespeople have the power to make transparent what is often opaque in America’s institutions. The American press, protected by democracy, must meet the moment. We must protect democracy, not default to neutrality in the face of its attack. We must value truth over power.
Last year, more than 250 journalists gathered from across the country for a day of learning and discussion from some of the top experts in their fields. It is time to gather again. Join us.