Shifting the power dynamics in your election reporting

Using systems thinking to unpack entrenched power dynamics in election coverage and identify creative opportunities to build agency among voters.

With the 2020 election looming, how can journalists break out of our reporting routines and “horse race” coverage to center the needs and power of local communities instead of politicians? What if we dedicated more attention to patterns, worldviews, and policies that underlie our electoral processes? How could we change the focus and form of our reporting and engagement from top-down political agendas to bottom-up priorities?

This hands-on workshop will help participants use systems thinking and design to pursue more complicated narratives by taking a collaborative, wide-angle view of elections and how they’re traditionally covered. Through a process called chaos mapping and a series of design exercises, participants will brainstorm alternative ways to frame their coverage to meet voters’ information needs, center marginalized voices in their reporting, and spark greater civic engagement.

Whether you’re a reporter, editor, producer, or engagement specialist, this session will equip you with flexible tools that can help you map how power is distributed in the stories you tell and identify new, community-oriented opportunities for your election coverage.

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