With half or more of all ballots coming by mail this fall, it will take days if not weeks for the counting to be completed — likely delaying not only the climax of a close presidential race but also the final word about control of the Senate and dozens of other narrow contests.
Because at least this aspect of an unprecedented election has become easy to predict, the National Task Force on Election Crises, a recently formed group of election experts and academics, is urging the news media to be more transparent about its reporting process in order to give the public more confidence in the integrity of the results.
The task force on Wednesday asked the Associated Press, CNN, Fox News and the three broadcast networks for their detailed plans for reporting returns and calling races. Many other news organizations, including local TV stations and major newspapers, rely on these outlets (the AP most of all) before projecting a winner.
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Organizers: Fix Democracy First, Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media at Gonzaga University, and NW Center for Media Literacy at University of Washington
Join us to explore & examine the questions: What role does the media play in democracy and why does democracy need media? How did we get here? What does a pro-democracy media look like? What can people do to bring about or encourage change in the system? Panelists include: Dr. John S. Caputo is the Professor Emeritus and founder of the Master's Program in Communication & Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, and founding member of the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media; Dr Denis Muller is a journalist, broadcaster and academic. He worked as a newspaper journalist for 27 years and is currently a weekly commentator on media issues for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Dr. Carolyn Cunningham is an Associate Professor of Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. She researches areas including girls and video games, women and leadership, and media literacy. And she co-directs the media literacy center at Gonzaga (NWARM); Sandra Williams is an activist, lecturer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, with an extensive background addressing issues of discrimination, equity, and social justice. She is the Publisher and Editor of The Black Lens, an independent community publication, based in Spokane; and Frank W. Baker, is a media literacy education trainer. He operates the Media Literacy Clearinghouse resource website.
Farrell is the co-founder and CEO of Bites Media, a news and information company targeted to educators and students in middle and high school.
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A massive new survey on media and democracy paints an unflattering picture in which the public trust in mainstream journalism is declining as perceived bias is growing.
The finding most optimistic for the preservation of a functional democracy: Five in six Americans, 84 percent, describe the news media as highly important to providing accurate information and holding the powerful accountable.
But a closer look at the numbers, released Thursday, shows something deeply problematic for civil society: a huge chasm in public attitudes toward the media, with Democrats generally favorable and Republicans openly hostile.
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