John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Report: Crisis in Democracy: Renewing Trust in America

Posted on February 26, 2019

There is an urgency today in the United States. Political polarization has reached crisis proportions. Americans cannot assume that their fellow citizens are operating under the same set of facts. Many of us live inside echo chambers where only our own political sentiments can be heard, and distrust those who do not agree with our particular viewpoint. Provocateurs and hatemongers, foreign and domestic, are fueling disagreements, and media are amplifying the divides. Some of this is recent, but some is the continuation of long trends of media disruption, voter apathy and political polarization.

However one describes the problem, there is a disturbing discord in the American polity that needs everyone’s attention and resolution to fix. This Commission report focuses on the intersection of the distrust in American democratic institutions and in the journalistic media. These are difficult times, calling for strong responses to the dilemmas set forth below.

The Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy consists of 27 individuals from various sectors of society—current and former members of media, business, nonprofits, academia, government and the arts. A partnership of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Commission began working in the summer of 2017 with the aim of reporting in early 2019. During that time, the Commission benefited from a wide diversity of input on crucially important issues. It held meetings around the country, hearing from a wide array of witnesses, scholars, activists, government officials and, through a Medium channel, the general public.

Read the report and learn more here: http://csreports.aspeninstitute.org/Knight-Commission-TMD/2019/report


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