On Democracy Day, preparing for difficult conversations that build trust

The spread of misinformation, an erosion of trust in standards-based news organizations and deepening political polarization continue to pose major threats to American democracy. In an effort to confront these threats, journalists around the country on Sept. 15 are observing Democracy Day, publishing stories that explain how democracy works and encouraging greater civic participation among readers, viewers and listeners.

The Center for Cooperative Media launched the effort last year to coincide with the International Day of Democracy, which is designated by the United Nations as an annual event to review the state of democracy in the world.

Participating news outlets are publishing stories and op-eds today that cover election processes, voting rights, civic engagement and explanatory reporting on how newsrooms are covering elections and public policy issues.

This Democracy Day, the News Literacy Project also is joining the effort, announcing two events intended to help everyone build understanding and trust in our democracy within their own networks of influence.

We’re teaming up with the National Institute for Civil Discourse and the League of Women Voters to host two free public webinars about how to talk to loved ones who share misinformation.

It can be difficult to know how to respond when a friend or family member shares a viral hoax, fabricated photo or conspiracy theory. As we prepare for the holiday season and a presidential election in 2024, we can expect to encounter rumors and falsehoods, as well as heated debate.

Our webinar, Productive conversations without confrontation, will offer strategies for productive, civil conversations – especially when discussing misinformation.

Register now

We’re hosting two different sessions of the same webinar – pick the date and time that works best for you.

Session 1 is at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT Tuesday, Oct. 24. Session 2 is set for 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT Thursday, Nov. 16 – one week before Thanksgiving.

Register for the October session here. Register for the November session here.

DeMario Phipps-Smith, senior manager of community learning at NLP, will be joined by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, director emeritus of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, and Chelsey Cartwright, program director for the League of Women Voters Democracy Truth Project.

They will discuss tools for debunking misinformation, setting the table for productive conversations, the basics for talking about falsehoods, how to build coalitions and communities that value credible information and why it’s important to have these difficult conversations.

We hope you’ll join us this fall.

In the meantime, read Democracy Day reporting from around the country here.

This article is part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit usdemocracyday.org.

On Democracy Day, protect your vote: Be informed, not misled

Today is Democracy Day, a collaborative effort by journalists and their allies from around the nation to draw attention to threats to democracy and to highlight ways to resist these threats.

Misinformation and disinformation are two major dangers. That’s why on Democracy Day — 54 days before the midterms — the News Literacy Project is launching a campaign to empower voters to be informed, not misled. We join an effort proposed by the Center for Cooperative Media and whose many partners include the American Press Institute, the Center for Public Integrity and many other news outlets.

To carry out the ideals of Democracy Day, we’ve brought together resources focused on the midterm election to help everyone find reliable information and avoid falsehoods.

Browse our collection of links to reliable election information.

You’ll find links to credible sources for election information, information on how to check whether and where you’re registered, answers to frequently asked questions about voting and more.

Use our resources to resist election misinformation.

We teamed up with the League of Women Voters to create public service announcements to raise awareness about election misinformation. Please watch these and share.

Sign up for our webinars, which we created to help you sort fact from fiction during election season.

  • Oct. 18: Are you being informed or influenced? News literacy skills to prioritize information from credible sources. Register here.
  • Oct. 25: Spotting election misinformation and understanding motivations behind how and why it spreads. Presented in collaboration with the League of Women Voters. Register here.
  • Nov. 1: How to debunk misinformation and engage in productive conversations without confrontation. Presented in collaboration with the League of Women Voters. Register here.

Read coverage by Democracy Day partners.

Democracy Day is a collaborative effort hosted by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey. See what newsrooms around the country are reporting about the democratic process in their communities.

Bookmark our midterm election page and look for more resources coming soon.  

Democracy Day is just the beginning. As the midterms unfold, we’ll continue to share new resources to help you stay informed. We are interviewing election and misinformation experts about the types of falsehoods that tend to crop up during campaign season, and we’ll share these videos on our page. We’re also working on an infographic that will help you learn how to spot red flags and verify information.