News Hole: The Demise of Local Journalism and Political Engagement
The decline of local newspapers is a familiar story. Hundreds of them have shut down, with the loss of thousands of jobs. But News Hole shows that the problem is more than one of locked doors and laid off workers – when a local paper goes, so does the community’s civic health. Lower turnout in local elections, less responsive local officials, less civic engagement, wider polarization, less social trust, weaker community ties, less awareness of what’s going on a City Hall, the school board, and the county commission – in short, when a newspaper goes out of business, the community stops acting like a community. Danny Hayes, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and Jennifer L. Lawless, Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor of Politics and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Virginia, aided by dozens of student research assistants, analyzed fifteen years of reporting in more than 200 local newspapers, while also studying election returns, opinion surveys, and other indicators to track community engagement to show that without solid journalism, democracy itself is at risk.
Power Play: How utilities paid a consulting group that infiltrated local news media, attacked clean energy foes and intimidated public officials
A months-long investigation by NPR’s David Folkenflik and Floodlight’s Mario Ariza and Miranda Green uncovered just how far two major power companies went to try to make sure their political foes didn’t dampen their profits or hold them accountable. The reporting, building off of an earlier Floodlight investigation with the Orlando Sentinel, found that Alabama Power and Florida Power & Light paid consulting company Matrix LLC millions over a decade, resulting in undisclosed payments to news outlets that cast the utilities in a positive light and were critical of those who questioned their power. A freelance ABC News producer was also hired to misleadingly represent herself and confront politicians over controversies relevant to Matrix clients. These revelations were followed by leadership changes at both power companies, internal investigations into their work with Matrix, as well as broad calls for transparency and reform. ABC News also severed ties with the freelance journalist. The story offers a rare window into the way power companies and consultants manipulate the democratic system, and the pressure local regulators and lawmakers confront if they seek to hold those corporations accountable, and what happens when local news erodes.
Foreign Contributions Riddle
Illegal Democratic Campaign Contributions
Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate
Drawing on both laboratory experiments and the real world of America’s presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional races, the authors show that negative advertising drives down voter turnout – in some cases dramatically – and that political consultants intentionally use ads for this very purpose.
Who Owns the Law? West Publishing and the Courts
The Rostenkowski Investigation
Voting Rights: The Next Generation
How Democracies Die
Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms.