The Objective is hiring a correspondent to take a critical look at how democracy and journalism co-exist in the U.S. and to hold organizations accountable for the democratic values they’ve committed to.
But as a smaller newsroom, we rely on readers to help us fund our correspondents and coverage. Any funds we raise over $15,000 will go to extending our correspondents contract, freelance writers, and paying illustrators/photographers.
“Supporting [D.C.] statehood would not be [fine] – that would be an expression of public advocacy on a matter we cover.”
“Democracy dies in darkness.”
— The Washington Post
Right now, at one of the largest and oldest legacy newsrooms in the U.S., you can say you believe in democracy, but you can’t publicly say you believe you should have representation in Congress.
Journalism and democracy are intertwined, but if you’ve watched the way legacy and cable news have covered rising authoritarianism and attacks on voting rights in the U.S., that may no longer seem evident.
The nature of creeping authoritarianism and giving cover to anti-democratic practices is not new. For decades, mainstream newsrooms have failed to care that their staff did not reflect the communities they were supposedly writing for. At the same time, they have failed to recognize the harm caused by their “both-sides” approach to flashpoint issues like voting and reproductive rights, immigration, and workplace conditions.
But rather than flattening these issues into a catch-all term like “culture war,” it’s important journalists acknowledge them for what they are. For example, when attacks on Black Americans’ voting rights become even more targeted and explicit than they were in the past, there are clear implications for multi-racial democracy in the U.S. It is critical that journalists do not frame voting rights as a two sided issue.
How can we ensure mainstream newsrooms take attacks on multi-racial democracy seriously in their coverage? How can we push back on harmful narratives that are counter to sustaining democracy, but propped up by newsrooms? And who is building democracy and democratic values in their practice of journalism and what can we learn from them?
As part of its participation in Democracy Day, The Objective is committing to hire a correspondent to take a critical look at how democracy and journalism co-exist in the U.S., including democratic practices and anti-democratic trends, in order to hold organizations accountable for the democratic values they espouse and expand the knowledge base of organizations already trying to do good work around expanding and enshrining democratic systems of governance.
The Community Info Coop, Democracy Fund, Borealis’ Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, the Center for Cooperative Media, and Indiegraf have provided us with the seed funding needed for us to hire a correspondent in late 2022.
With this fund, we’re committed to hiring a part-time correspondent. But as a smaller newsroom, we rely on readers to help us fund our correspondents and coverage. If you are interested in applying, you can view the job description here. And if you’re interested in joining us in our work, you can support us below.
– Gabe Schneider, Editor & Co-Founder