Journalism and the mediated communication environment have never been more deeply involved with the workings and health of democracy―and the expanding digital network has proven a challenging public sphere. Journalism is undercut by tech platforms and attacked by powerful political actors. It suffers unprecedented levels of mistrust among the public and must compete for attention in a media landscape littered with misinformation and engineered to fuel extremist content over quality reporting and analysis.
But the networked landscape comes with upsides. Next-level collaboration among journalists delivers reporting that would otherwise be too costly for any single organization to take on. New publishing ventures expand the range of voices and viewpoints in the news, in part by cultivating relationships with civil society actors or historically underrepresented groups. Civic engagement in some cases is deepened by citizens using widely available digital tools to create, circulate, and interact with journalism flows to a much greater degree than previously possible.
Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy scholars investigate the features of the media landscape―its tools, platforms, policies, practices―to understand how they can both support and threaten democracy. Using a range of theoretical and methodological approaches and with emphasis on international cases and perspectives, we investigate the dynamics that pass among, work on and shape journalism, media and democracy.