Louise Lief

New Models for Civic Engagement in a New Information Landscape

media.am

18/01/2017

Of all the surprising statistics that emerged from last month’s US presidential election, one jumps out. Over 100 million eligible voters, almost 47 percent of the electorate, didn’t vote, the lowest turnout in in 20 years. As the country prepares to pursue radically different policies, it is with the knowledge that almost half its voting public sat on the sidelines.

One can speculate about the reasons. Perhaps they were disillusioned with the system, or no longer believe they have a meaningful voice in public affairs. But when that many people choose not to exercise one of democracy’s most fundamental rights, it‘s the symptom of a larger problem.

This conference is about investigative journalism, the watchdog role a free media plays and speaking truth to power. But for the extraordinary risks investigative journalists take to discover these truths to have meaning and make government and corporations accountable, the public needs to trust their findings and feel they can act on the information. Today in my country and perhaps in yours, there is less trust in the news media than in previous decades and growing doubts about its credibility.

Read more at media.am.

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Louise Lief is an independent consultant to philanthropy, non-profits and media, helping mission-driven organizations design, execute and communicate program strategies to achieve their objectives with maximum impact.

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