About Us

 

Election SOS is an initiative dedicated to supporting U.S. journalists in responding to critical 2020 election information needs. We offer training for journalists, connecting them to best practices, resources, and support around election coverage.

This initiative is non-partisan and is not advocating for any policy or electoral outcome. Our goal is to equip journalists and newsrooms with the most useful information and strategy around reporting on a variety of election-related topics, and methods for meaningfully listening and responding to the communities they serve and aim to serve.

We started with a call for radically different campaign coverage, in collaboration with and inspired by the work of Jay Rosen of New York University on The Citizens Agenda Model for elections. In this call, we issued a challenge and offered a vision for creating voter-centered news reporting:

No longer as news organizations can we presume to understand what our public needs from us, nor can we assume that being first with the latest salacious turn in a campaign is what actually matters.

Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. We can break the vicious cycle of the election cycle. The only way you can find out about that is to get yourself to the table, to listen, and then respond with the information people say they need to make informed decisions.”

Election SOS is the response to that call, the result of interest from hundreds of journalists around the world to reimagine how we can serve our communities.

Election SOS Team

 

This project is managed by the consultancy Hearken with the support of Trusting News, is fiscally sponsored by the American Press Institute, and is funded by The Democracy Fund.

Hearken is a tech-enabled consultancy that helps organizations create relevant services and build resilient networks through community engagement. We are a member of Zebras Unite, a founder-created and founder-led movement calling for a more ethical and inclusive movement to counter existing startup and venture capital culture.

Election SOS Facilitators

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Bridget Thoreson

Election SOS Project Manager / Engagement Manager, Hearken
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Malii Watts Witten

Election SOS Senior Strategist
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Meredith Turk

Election SOS Community Manager / Engagement Strategist, Hearken
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John Ketchum

Election SOS Election Protection Producer

Trusting News aims to demystify trust in news and empower journalists to take responsibility for actively demonstrating credibility and earning trust. We believe a more informed electorate that knows where to turn for quality information is key to democracy.

Election SOS Facilitators

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Joy Mayer

Election SOS Trustworthy Elections Facilitator / Director, Trusting News
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Lynn Walsh

Election SOS Trustworthy Elections Facilitator / Assistant Director, Trusting News

Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

American Press Institute helps transform news organizations for an audience-centric future. Read about related API efforts to improve election reporting.