This collection on American democracy challenges and complements blog posts and opinion pieces that are typical staples of the 24/7 news cycle in the lead up to US elections. You'll find reports about election and campaign administration, voting access and participation, government performance and perceptions, the role of the media in civil society, and more.

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"VOTE!" by Paul Sableman licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Voting Rights Under Fire: Philanthropy’s Role in Protecting and Strengthening American Democracy

November 1, 2019

There is a new urgency today for American philanthropies to protect the right to vote for all eligible citizens. The philanthropic community has worked alongside the government to protect these rights for decades, but since a 2013 Supreme Court ruling eliminated key parts of the Voting Rights Act, there has been a dramatic increase across the country in barriers to voting. These new barriers often disproportionately affect low-income voters, rural voters, communities of color, young people, and people with disabilities.American philanthropies now have an opportunity to protect and strengthen U.S. democracy by providing badly needed investments in the country's voting infrastructure, paying attention to these issues beyond election time, and joining with others to support litigation against illegal voting barriers.

Campaigns and Elections

Electoral Reform: Charting the Course to Voter Engagement

September 1, 2009

For more than a decade Carnegie Corporation has been at the forefront of efforts to catalyze engagement with the electoral process; to promote access to the voting booth for all who have a right to it; to remove the impediments to voting and civic participation that disproportionately affect minority groups, immigrants, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and all others who have been unjustly disenfranchised; as well as to improve the voting process itself. This work has been carried out by Corporation grantees across the country through research, education, get-out-the-vote campaigns, as well as by promoting advances in technology and disseminating knowledge and information aimed at combating the corrosive cynicism that has too often diminished Americans' trust in our electoral process. Today, that work continues to go on because it must.

Campaigns and Elections; Civic Participation

Journalism in the Service of Democracy: A Summit of Deans, Faculty, Students and Journalists

April 30, 2008

Distills discussions at a January 2008 conference to assess the future of journalism, including topics such as reinventing journalism education, reinvigorating the news environment, and opportunities in new media. Includes highlights of breakout sessions.


Strengthening U.S. Democracy through Campaign Finance Reform

January 1, 2008

Carnegie Corporation sees the troubling relationship between money and politics as one of the symptoms of the growing separation between the U.S. electoral system and the concerns of ordinary citizens. A new Carnegie Review traces the foundation's years of support for campaign finance reform in hopes of motivating others interested in addressing this issue.

Campaigns and Elections; Government

Improving the Education of Tomorrow's Journalists

January 1, 2005

This McKinsey report captures the insights of many of the best and brightest of the current generation of news executives, editors and correspondents and bolstered the case for and strengthened the resolve of Vartan Gregorian and a few journalism deans to undertake a bold effort to reshape and reinvigorate the quality of education that journalism schools offer. With their guidance and the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the deans who comprise the Carnegie- Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education will share with fellow educators and the general public their blueprint for curricular reforms and other changes.


Building the Campaign Finance Reform Infrastructure: Grantmaking to Strengthen U.S. Democracy

April 1, 2004

Results looks at the emergence and early successes of a new campaign finance reform infrastructure funded by the foundation and others and comprised of nonprofit research, advocacy and legal action organizations. The coalition is pursuing further gains with a variety of strategies ranging from litigation and electoral to research and advocacy, recognizing that such successes are only provisional and require a sustained effort.

Campaigns and Elections; Government

The Youth Challenge: Participating in Democracy

March 1, 2003

Provides an analysis of why young Americans are not participating in the electoral process. Explores strategies for increasing civic engagement, including education, increased political action, and youth development.

Civic Participation

Democracy's Moment: Moving From Crisis to Positive Change

January 1, 2001

Explores the history of voting in America, the November 2000 national election, and recent proposed reforms of the electoral process, including upgrading technology, establishing uniform standards, improving voter education, and implementing legislation.

Campaigns and Elections; Civic Participation