Introducing the Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy

Dear friends of UW COM,

We wanted you to be the first to know some exciting news: next week, we will launch the new Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy.

This relaunch happens at an unprecedented moment in history when the importance of journalism and media for democracy have never seemed more apparent—and that relationship never more imperiled. With disturbing frequency, journalists and media professionals are denounced and even attacked for revealing information that the powerful would prefer to keep hidden. Dark money pours into the expanding information space, just as traditional journalism business models fail and local news outlets disappear. Independent reporting on complex topics like climate change or Covid-19—the understanding of which is vital for democratic governance—struggles for visibility in a media landscape littered with misleading and partisan voices, and plagued by historically low levels of public trust.

The Center (also known as the CJMD) aims to advance understanding of the role journalism and media play in democratic societies around the world. We will do this through research, teaching, and public engagement and by exploring opportunities for and challenges to independent journalism and media, as well as their ability to sustain and nurture core democratic values, including public accountability.

The CJMD is the successor to the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement. For more than two decades, the CCCE—under the leadership of our colleague, Lance Bennett—was a hub for original research, educational programs, and public engagement. The Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy aims to build on this strong foundation, while also responding directly to concerns about the fate of independent journalism and media in the present moment. 

Next week, we are thrilled to begin our work with several public events centered on the U.S. presidential election (please note that all event start times are PDT):

For more information about these events and the Center, please visit our website.

We hope you can join us for these events, and we hope you will share your thoughts about the Center.

Matthew Powers and Adrienne Russell

Co-Directors of the Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy