The Associated Press announced today it will inject additional resources into covering democracy in the U.S. with the goal of helping an increasingly polarized public better understand their government.
With philanthropic support from several organizations, AP aims to improve civic literacy and combat misinformation by bolstering its explanatory journalism and providing information and tools to local newsrooms to aid their coverage. AP will also deepen its reporting on the impact of elections and election-related policy on communities of color.
The effort, supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, is focused on providing solutions-based journalism rather than merely highlighting problems and extreme voices.
“With a reporter in every statehouse, AP is uniquely positioned to cover democracy in the U.S. and amplify the ideas and issues that connect people,” said AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Julie Pace. “Not only have we covered elections across the country since 1848, but we have tallied votes and declared election winners for the better part of two centuries. This investment to ramp up our portfolio builds on AP’s extraordinary role in the American democracy.”
Support from Lilly Endowment will enable AP to emphasize digital and social storytelling that explains topics central to American democracy, including making clear the workings of U.S. election systems, institutions and processes. This work builds on the extensive explanatory journalism AP provided before, during and after the 2022 midterm elections.
AP will also conduct research into news practices that polarize audiences and identify newsroom solutions to both bridge societal divides and engage weary citizens. The Conversation U.S., the fiscal sponsor of the Lilly Endowment grant, will also receive funding to boost democracy-related explanatory articles from scholars.
With an eye to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, AP added to its growing democracy team a reporter dedicated to covering the intersection of race and voting, with support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. The beat bolsters efforts to put people whose voting rights and political representation are at risk at the center of coverage. Journalism Funding Partners is the fiscal sponsor of the Logan grant.
Additionally, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, AP will expand coverage of local races in key states and help local newsrooms strengthen their democracy coverage by providing localization guides that offer tools, ideas and information sources for local journalists to cover voter polarization and more in their communities.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grant provides broad support for the initiative in its entirety.
In all such collaborations, AP retains complete editorial control.
AP works with a variety of philanthropic organizations, including Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Report for America and others, to expand coverage and reach new audiences.
AP standards for working with outside groups are available online: http://apne.ws/lt9xQ2C