The news media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign was overwhelmingly negative and lacked in-depth explanations of the candidates’ policy positions. Misinformation ran rampant, and widespread disinformation campaigns successfully sowed doubt among citizens, which left them confused about who and what to trust.

To explore these issues, Media Impact Funders and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement Funders (PACE) hosted a webinar last week on how election coverage can be more inclusive and reflective of the communities it’s trying to inform.

  • Jennifer Brandel, the CEO and co-founder of Hearken, an audience-engagement methodology and platform for newsrooms. Brandel presented a variety of methods and resources, including Election SOS, to support newsrooms’ elections coverage during times of crisis.
  • Derrick Feldmann, a researcher, author and adviser on social movements and issue engagement. Feldmann, Managing Director for the Ad Council—the largest producer of public service advertising—talked about effective messaging around registration and turnout. Feldmann led the research team on the Ad Council’s latest vote messaging study on generational differences.
  • Emily Ramshaw, the CEO and co-founder of the The 19th, shared details about the new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom that will report on the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Ramshaw is the former editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune.
  • Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th, also shared details about The 19th’s mission to empower underserved and underrepresented women in America. Haines is a former reporter for the Associated Press.
  • Kristen Cambell, Executive Director of PACE, moderated the discussion.