Giving Compass' Take:

The Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy outlines 10 ways to rebuild trust in democracy and media, focusing on technology and transparency.

What actions can donors take to support these recommendations? Are you ready to engage? 

Read more about strengthening democracy through trust.

Our nation is experiencing a crisis of trust. We believe that reliable news is vital to our democracy, but many of us can’t name an objective news source. Concern about “fake news” is high, but we can’t agree on what that means. We can’t even assume every American is operating under the same set of facts. We retreat to polarized political tribes and don’t want to listen to anyone outside them.

Our democracy cannot function properly without strong, independent, trustworthy media. Since late 2017, the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy has met to explore the reasons for this sharp decline in trust and to seek solutions. The Commission gathered research and listened to expert witnesses at hearings around the nation.

Now the Commission — a group of 27 diverse individuals brought together by the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — is publishing its recommendations for the steps news organizations, technology companies, and individual citizens can take to rebuild the trust in media that underpins healthy democracy.

  1. Emphasize radical transparency and community engagement in newsrooms.
  2. Increase support for journalism at all levels, with a focus on rebuilding local journalism.
  3. Use technology to enhance delivery of credible news and foster democracy.
  4. Prioritize diversity in newsrooms.
  5. Online services should be more responsible and transparent with user data.
  6. Technology companies should be transparent about the influence of advertising and algorithms.
  7. Invest in technology solutions to fight the spread of misinformation.
  8. Revitalize civics education for the digital age.
  9. Support inclusive spaces for civic dialogue in local and online communities.
  10. Encourage widespread commitment to a year of voluntary service.

Read the full article about rebuilding trust in democracy and media at The Aspen Institute.