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

bridget thoreson headshot

Bridget Thoreson

Election SOS Project Manager / Engagement Manager, Hearken
malii headshot

Malii Watts Witten

Election SOS Senior Strategist
meredith turk

Meredith Turk

Election SOS Community Manager / Engagement Strategist
Anthony Cave Headshot

Anthony Cave

Election SOS Digital Producer
Kamila Jambulatova

Kamila Jambulatova

Election SOS Marketing Coordinator

Matthew Gladly

Election SOS Fellowship Administrator
James Hoyt Headshot

James Hoyt

Election SOS Fellowship Coordinator

Kerrie Vila

Pitch & Story Database Coordinator
John Ketchum headshot

John Ketchum

Election SOS Election Protection Producer
Yemile Bucay

Yemile Bucay

Election SOS Digital Producer
Jenn Brandel
Election SOS

Jennifer Brandel

Election SOS Senior Strategist

Christiana Lilly

Election SOS Fellowship Coordinator
Ashley Trawick, Election SOS

Ashley Trawick

Outreach & Research Coordinator
Patty McMahon

Patty McMahon

Trusted Election Expert Network Coordinator

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

joy mayer headshot

Joy Mayer

Election SOS Trustworthy Elections Facilitator / Director, Trusting News
lynn walsh headshot

Lynn Walsh

Election SOS Trustworthy Elections Facilitator / Assistant Director, Trusting News

Election SOS is managed by the consultancy Hearken with the support of Trusting News, is fiscally sponsored by the American Press Institute, and is principally funded by The Democracy Fund and the Trusted Elections Fund Project.

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.