• Description

Newsrooms are reckoning with how journalists can adequately cover an increasingly anti-democratic political movement in the United States. In covering these events, they face a constant challenge of covering all angles of a story without drawing equivalencies between candidates or politicians who operate within the normal bounds of democratic politics and those who may seek to undermine elections and the rule of law. The media has an essential role to play that is unbiased, but not neutral in applying a consistent standard about threats to democracy.

In light of the authoritarian threat, the ongoing process of media evolution and adaptation necessitates that the media may draw on a different toolkit today than it did in the eras of Walter Lippmann's "Public Opinion," the Pentagon Papers, or Watergate.

This briefing is designed to help the fourth estate advance this "unbiased but not neutral" role in a healthy democracy by providing two contextualizing resources: a common playbook of tactics used by would-be autocrats in the U.S. and around the globe, and a framework for distinguishing between these authoritarian tactics and normal political jockeying