AP announces sweeping democracy journalism initiative

The Associated Press announced recently it will inject additional resources into covering democracy in the U.S. with the goal of helping an increasingly polarized public better understand their government.

With philanthropic support from several organizations, AP aims to improve civic literacy and combat misinformation by bolstering its explanatory journalism and providing information and tools to local newsrooms to aid their coverage. AP will also deepen its reporting on the impact of elections and election-related policy on communities of color.

The effort, supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, is focused on providing solutions-based journalism rather than merely highlighting problems and extreme voices.

“With a reporter in every statehouse, AP is uniquely positioned to cover democracy in the U.S. and amplify the ideas and issues that connect people,” said AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Julie Pace. “Not only have we covered elections across the country since 1848, but we have tallied votes and declared election winners for the better part of two centuries. This investment to ramp up our portfolio builds on AP’s extraordinary role in the American democracy.”

Support from Lilly Endowment will enable AP to emphasize digital and social storytelling that explains topics central to American democracy, including making clear the workings of U.S. election systems, institutions and processes. This work builds on the extensive explanatory journalism AP provided before, during and after the 2022 midterm elections.

AP will also conduct research into news practices that polarize audiences and identify newsroom solutions to both bridge societal divides and engage weary citizens. The Conversation U.S., the fiscal sponsor of the Lilly Endowment grant, will also receive funding to boost democracy-related explanatory articles from scholars.

With an eye to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, AP added to its growing democracy team a reporter dedicated to covering the intersection of race and voting, with support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. The beat bolsters efforts to put people whose voting rights and political representation are at risk at the center of coverage. Journalism Funding Partners is the fiscal sponsor of the Logan grant.

Additionally, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, AP will expand coverage of local races in key states and help local newsrooms strengthen their democracy coverage by providing localization guides that offer tools, ideas and information sources for local journalists to cover voter polarization and more in their communities.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grant provides broad support for the initiative in its entirety.

In all such collaborations, AP retains complete editorial control.

AP works with a variety of philanthropic organizations, including Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Report for America and others, to expand coverage and reach new audiences.

AP standards for working with outside groups are available online: http://apne.ws/lt9xQ2C

About AP:
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online: www.ap.org

About the Lilly Endowment:
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation:
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. 

About the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation:
The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation supports organizations that advance social justice by empowering world-changing work in investigative journalism, documentary film and arts and culture.

About the Hewlett Foundation:
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world.

About Journalism Funding Partners:
The mission of Journalism Funding Partners is to strengthen the depth, diversity and sustainability of local news by building and shepherding relationships between funders and news organizations.

About the Conversation U.S.:
The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists. All our content is published under a creative commons platform — free to read and free to republish.