GENERAL – SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY THROUGH ACCURATE INFORMATION
There are many great organizations to support but these three stand out as great tools available to us for organizing and finding facts. In the spirit of supporting the online content, donating annually to all three of these is an action we can take to demonstrate that support. In this political world of swirling propaganda, deliberate misinformation, manipulation and scams, it is a beacon of hope that such fine organizations exist. Subscription article
- Ballotpedia (the Lucy Burns Institute)– “Ballotpedia is the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Our goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government. We are firmly committed to neutrality; The mission of the Lucy Burns Institute is to empower our audience to engage in democracy by delivering exceptionally high quality information. We strive to equip our readers with the truth so it can be used in positive, powerful, and unforeseen ways. Informed voters are the foundation of democracy and positive change starts with them.”
- Wikipedia Foundation — “The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.”
- The Mozilla Foundation — “The nonprofit Mozilla Foundation believes the Internet must always remain a global public resource that is open and accessible to all. Our work is guided by the Mozilla Manifesto.”
NON PROFIT INFORMATION PROVIDERS AND FACT CHECKERS
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY THROUGH SUPPORT FOR ACCURACY IN THE MEDIA AND A FREE PRESS
Never has there been more of a need for fact-checking organizations. The following organizations not only provide fact checking but are a wealth of accurate information on every single political topic. They are on the front lines of defending our democracy and deserve our respect, admiration for their work and financial support.
- Factcheck.org – “A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.”
- Open Secrets– Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets are by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.
- Snopes – Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time. Snopes is also usually the first to report the facts.
- The Sunlight Foundation – The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all. Sunlight primarily focuses on money’s role in politics.
- Poynter Institute– The Poynter Institute is not a true fact checking service. They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence based content. If Poynter reports it, you can count on it being true.
- Flack Check – Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FlackCheck.org is the political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.
FOR PROFIT NEWS ORGANIZATIONS – SUPPORTING A FREE PRESS AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
There have been radical changes in US media as a result of the rise of the internet as our prime source of communication over the past twenty years. Newspapers and magazines, as an industry, have had to weather this storm and make radical changes in how they operate. For our part, we, the public canceled our subscriptions, began reading on line, standing back and watching the industry cope. We are now paying a price for abandoning the news industry and journalism. the result is a reduced set of accurate choices and much less support for investigative journalism, especially at the local level. Who knows where we might have been in we had more extensive, old-style investigation prior to the 2016 election?
Behavior can be changed. Paying for online subscriptions as a means of support for good journalism is a way to support a free press. Often we don’t subscribe because we have no time to read, can get the news we want online for free, do not want the hard copies to store and then be required to dispose the product. An approach that might make this more sense is to view subscriptions as support for a free press rather than a requirement to read so many publications. These organizations need our support to ensure that we have a free press, an essential foundation of preserving democracy.
There are several extensive lists under the Media section on this website that are organized by focus and bias. For national mainstream media, the most well-known mainstream media entities are
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- The LA Times
- The Guardian
- Wall Street Journal
- Associated Press
- Christian Science Monitor
- The Economist
- The Atlantic
There has been a huge impact on local news organizations from the changes in the news industry. Many communities live is a very different media world compared to the way it was twenty years ago.
More to come.