Guardian US expands democracy coverage

Appoints democracy correspondent and wider team to examine threats to democracy in America


Guardian US has announced the expansion of its democracy coverage, a new multi-year series named "The Fight for Democracy," and the appointment of Guardian US reporter Sam Levine as senior democracy correspondent.

Guardian US also plans to invest in three new local reporting roles to ensure on-the-ground coverage and expanded reporting in the battlegrounds for American democracy including the U.S. South, the Great Lakes region and the Southwest, along with the addition of a data reporter.

"The Fight for Democracy" will shed light on the mounting challenges in America’s social and political landscape amid threats to established democratic norms, offering analysis and reporting on attempts to undermine election legitimacy and diminish or eliminate voting rights for numerous communities, the spread of disinformation, and policies that drive polarization and extremism, among other pressing topics.

The new project builds on the impactful and agenda-setting Guardian series "The Fight to Vote," which started in November 2019 and has focused on voter suppression across the US. Among other outcomes, "The Fight to Vote" helped secure a new trial and overturn the conviction for Pamela Moses, a Tennessee woman sentenced to prison for registering to vote.

The growing democracy team will sit in the heart of the newsroom, and in addition to Sam Levine, includes news editor Ankita Rao, special series editor Alastair Gee, and chief reporter for Guardian US Ed Pilkington.

With coverage ranging from in-depth special investigations, to features, data projects, videos, op-eds, and breaking news, the multi-year "Fight for Democracy" initiative seeks to elevate underreported stories and diverse voices, bringing this critical journalism to the Guardian’s global and national audience of nearly 180m. A key aim of the effort is to expand and deepen newsroom partnerships with local, regional and non-profit news organizations.

Betsy Reed, editor, Guardian US, said:

“In the wake of the 2020 election, the United States has reached a critical and unprecedented point in its history. The country is now in the midst of a national reckoning, facing numerous challenges to the very structures of democracy that were held up as ideals to the rest of the world.

“It is clear that democracy is not guaranteed — we need to support it, defend it, evolve and secure it, both for the present and the future. We believe this fight for democracy is one of the most important stories of our time.

“I’m delighted to announce this project, led by some of our most experienced political and democracy reporters, Sam and Ed. 'The Fight for Democracy' is a natural expansion of our long-standing efforts, aiming to draw national and international attention to the interconnected threats facing democracy and the enormous stakes of this battle, especially for those most vulnerable.”

Ankita Rao, news editor, Guardian US, said:

“When we launched 'Fight to Vote' in 2019 we didn’t know the themes of our project would become the most important story of the presidential election and its aftermath. Now, with a growing team across the U.S., 'Fight for Democracy' will continue to discover and amplify the stories that inform our country’s future.”

Sam Levine, senior democracy correspondent, Guardian US, said:

“The Guardian is uniquely positioned to cover the fight for free and fair elections in America. By expanding our democracy team to include reporters based in key battleground states, 'The Fight for Democracy' will invest deeply in understanding how lies about elections are spreading, the figures behind them, and produce rich reporting that will contextualize the perilous threat U.S. democracy faces. I’m thrilled to build on our work covering the most important story in American politics right now and to launch this effort ahead of the 2022 elections.”

The new initiative is supported in part by philanthropic funders including the Ford Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Park Foundation and All reporting published for The Guardian is editorially independent.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Scroll the Latest Job Opportunities From The Media Job Board