Journalism and democracy are talked about as if their fate is tied together. But what really are their connections? Can journalism in its current practice protect both democracy and itself?
Subbu Vincent, director of journalism and media ethics at the Ethics Center, has contributed a chapter in the recently published book, Reinventing Journalism to Strengthen Democracy: Insights from Innovators. His essay, “Reorienting Journalism to Favor Democratic Agency,” describes how journalism and liberal democracy evolved together around ideas of truth, public reason, and multiculturalism.
Vincent uses this essay to make recommendations for changes, one of which is complicating simplistic narratives by including “the perspectives and lived experiences of impacted communities,” which could help journalism more directly and intentionally serve democracy. He also discusses the conflict and collision between social media and journalistic practice around public attention and discourse.
The Kettering Foundation, an organization created to explore democracy from the perspective of the citizens, is the book’s publisher. Edited by Paloma Dallas and Paula Ellis, this book presents new perspectives and opinions from experts in the world of journalism. From the book’s back cover:
“In Reinventing Journalism, innovative journalists from newspapers, public radio, civic media groups, and new media collectives examine how we have come to this point in this country. The loss of newspapers and fracturing of the information ecosystem have weakened our sense of a shared identity, but many people have long felt excluded, misrepresented, and unable to see themselves and their experiences reflected in news reporting.” – Kettering Foundation.
Essays such as Vincent’s explore the different facets of this problem and explain the ways in which this moment can be used as an opportunity to innovate and create new opportunities for journalism. Vincent himself is “proud to have contributed a chapter to this bold team book where the Kettering Foundation connects journalistic practice with democracy.” His essay serves as a reminder of the connection between journalism and democracy and the ways in which the two can cater to each other, creating a new and exciting future.
The authors of the other chapters are: Doug Oplinger, Michelle Holmes, Martin G. Reynolds, Jennifer Brandel, Ben Trefny, Eve Pearlman, David Plazas, Linda Miller, and Darryl Holliday.
To learn more about Reinventing Journalism to Strengthen Democracy: Insights from Innovators and purchase a copy for yourself, head to the Kettering Foundation website.