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NewsMatch 2019 Evaluation Summary Report

October 21, 2020

In its fourth consecutive year, NewsMatch 2019 continued to seek to strengthen the sustainability of the nonprofit news sector by building capacity in nonprofit newsrooms, spreading awareness of the importance of investing in journalism among the general public, and directly and indirectly investing millions of dollars into the field of nonprofit journalism.Overall, this evaluation concludes that NewsMatch is an invaluable program for the nonprofit news field. The NewsMatch team implemented the 2019 program activities as planned very effectively. Based on the findings of this evaluation, the Third Plateau team concluded that this program is important and it is in good hands.

Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Journalism: Trends in National Grantmaking

June 19, 2018

The purpose of this report is to better understand philanthropic interventions supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in journalism from 2009 – 2015. As a foundation new to DEI funding in journalism, we commissioned this research to help provide context to the major strategies underway in the field and identify potential areas for further investment.

Campaign Finance in the United States: Assessing an Era of Fundamental Change

January 1, 2018

The goal of this report and the larger research effort that produced it is to clarify the dynamics of the modern campaign finance system in the United States. To this end, the effort produced a set of studies and a bipartisan report drawn from the best social science relating to the changing dynamics of the U.S. campaign finance system. The report examines the legal, political, and technological shifts that have combined to shape the current campaign finance regime.

Pathways to Engagement: Understanding How Newsrooms Are Working With Communities

March 1, 2017

As members of the civic journalism movement did over 25 years ago, a new generation of engaged journalism practitioners is rethinking relationships with communities. Geneva Overholser, Senior Fellow and Consultant at the Democracy Fund, identified challenges in a recent report that engaged journalism faces in an environment much more fraught with disruption, change, and constant innovation. And as interviewees for this report affirmed, engaged journalists are rethinking deeper questions about the fundamental role of journalism in a healthy democracy. At a basic level, engaged journalism represents a shift and refinement regarding the ways newsrooms interact with community members. Journalist and entrepreneur Andrew Haeg describes it as journalism reframed from a broadcast (one-way) function to a community (two-way) function: news as a conversation with the community. Democracy Fund believes that the future of journalism and a healthy democracy depends in part on how the news industry navigates this shift and embraces modes of reporting that make news more relevant, responsive, and reflective of their communities. Jake Batsell, author of Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audience, defines the term as "the degree to which a news organization actively considers and interacts with its audience in furtherance of its journalistic and financial mission."

Voter Sentiments on the U.S. Election System

December 2, 2016

The 2016 election was one of the most hard fought and divisive in recent memory. The Democracy Fund continues to be troubled by some of the rhetoric regarding the "hacking" and "rigging" of the American election system, two topics that animated so much discussion from across the ideological spectrum this cycle. We believe the long-term impact of these messages undermines the legitimacy of the election system and further erodes public trust in our political system. This infographic is based on our national survey of voters after the 2016 election that was designed to provide the Democracy Fund a snapshot of public opinion about our election system and the possible effect of the rhetoric around election fraud. This data demonstrates that while most voters had a pleasant voting experience, deep concerns exist about the integrity of American elections.

Fact Sheet: U.S. Elections Process and Voting Machine Security

November 1, 2016

Four facts you need to know about our election system and voting machines in the United States.

Progress Report on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration: Improving the Efficiency of Election, Increasing Access to Voting

September 1, 2016

The decentralized administration of elections means there are always new challenges to be addressed and new opportunities for improvement. It is for this reason that the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) was established by an Executive Order on March 28, 2013, with the goal of confronting problems and institutionalizing processes that allow for improvement.After an extensive six-month inquiry, the bipartisan PCEA, comprised of experts and practitioners, issued The American Voting Experience report, which stated: "the problems hindering efficient administration of elections are both identifiable and solvable." In the report, members of the PCEA unanimously agreed on a set of best practices and recommendations they hoped would focus institutional energy on a select number of important policy changes, while spawning experimentation among the thousands of local officials who shared similar concerns.This update highlights the progress made in several areas, since the reports release, notably in the areas of voter registration, access to voting, polling place management, and voting technology.