December 12, 2011
” an experimental space dedicated to determining how to get people’s voices heard in campaigns that, though they purport to be concerned with the people’s interests, all too often ignore them.”
2012 being, of course, campaign year in the US – the project brings together Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) and the Guardian’s US editor, Amanda Michel. But you could have read the article to discover that. Rather than summarise it, I’d prefer to let it speak for itself. So go read it. And then read Rosen’s blog post which started it all, where he set out ten steps to improve media coverage of election campaigns.
Feeling lazy? Here’s a flavour:
- Step 1, 4-6 months before the vote, start asking the electorate a simple question: what do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes in this year’s election?
- Steps 2-5: develop, publish, refine, crowdsource… until, one month to go, you have “a list of [6-10] action items and declared priorities” as expressed by citizens;
- Steps 6-10: use it to define the master narrative, map what candidates say against it, and stop the default ‘horse-race narrative’ from taking over;
But honestly, you really should go read the above articles. And as you do so, ask yourself:
- Would something like this, around the EU Parliament elections, be useful for EU democracy?
- How much chance is there of that being done properly?
Please answer in the comments. And if your answers were “YES!” and “Damn All!”, then you get a Bonus Question:
- Why is that? Why not in Europe?
My answer – predictably – is that such an initiative could not credibly be carried out by the EU Institutions, and would require resources that will not be forthcoming from professional media because they cannot see the demand for it from their audiences.
But I can’t think of a better way of making them interested…
So how could such an idea be bootstrapped?