Democracy Wire

Read more from our staff and guests, along with news stories and commentary on the issues that matter.
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Platforms Without Media?

July 12, 2016

Party platforms can be sleepy affairs. In recent years, platform writing too often became an exercise of box-checking to “reach out and touch” as many interest groups as possible so everyone felt involved, with an anodyne sentence or two thrown in so these interests felt included. Long on generalities and short on specifics, platforms in recent years were routinely adopted at the party’s convention—and then promptly forgotten.

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Untold Stories Matter, Too

May 31, 2016

Pretend you’re a journalist (if you really are one, ignore that but read on anyhow) and someone calls and says “I’ve got a good and timely story that I think your readers/listeners would like to know about. There is a government agency that has both the authority and the responsibility to help clean up our broken big-money election campaigns—and it is refusing to do its job.” Let me explain.

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The Internet Discussion We're Not Having

March 7, 2016

Our media are letting us down. From their mostly vapid coverage of the 2016 Presidential campaign on television to the paucity of new information on the Internet’s major “news” sites, the communications ecosystem is failing our democracy. It’s a failure that has already cost us dearly and a breakdown that will only get worse until we recognize and confront the damage that has been done. Sadly, amid the incessant hurling of personal broadsides and character assassination from many of the candidates, and the ubiquitous replay of sordid electioneering masquerading as “breaking news” on just about every channel, real coverage of issues gets the hindmost.

Media and democracy thumbnail for issue buckets

The Scariest Cable Merger Nobody In Washington Is Talking About

February 4, 2016

When Comcast tried to merge with Time Warner Cable last year, reaction was swift and negative. Not many people liked the idea of America’s largest and least loved cable company getting any bigger; the deal collapsed after hundreds of thousands of Americans spoke out and federal regulators signaled that they would not let it go forward

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