Over the past 25 years, the makeup of newsrooms—and the people covering politics—has changed significantly. As more women and people of color joined the media, newsrooms began to reflect the diversity of America. While newsrooms today are still overwhelmingly white, the lens through which we view politics has evolved largely due to the diversity of opinions. But there's still a long way to go. Amy Walter spoke with Errin Haines, co-founder and editor-at-large for the 19th*, Toluse Olorunnipa, national political Reporter for the Washington Post, and Maya King, political reporter at Politico, about their experiences reporting in an era where race, racism, and our national reckoning have become mainstream conversations.
Both the pandemic and former President Trump’s baseless attacks on voting by mail underscored the importance of election administrators and volunteers. As election officials attempted to run smooth and fair elections, they also had to combat the spread of misinformation, much of which was instigated by former President Trump. Even after a year like 2020, these individuals remain dedicated to administering future elections and safeguarding our democracy. Damon Circosta, chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, and Evan Malbrough, founder of the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project and Puffin Democracy fellow with the Andrew Goodman Foundation, reflect on the 2020 election cycle. Plus, Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the Secretary of State of Georgia, shares what it was like to face the real-time consequences of former President Trump’s lies about the results of the general election.
Former President Trump’s norm-defying presidency caused many to question the roles institutions play in checking the power of the executive branch. The lies Donald Trump created and amplified about the integrity of our elections meant that millions of Americans doubted the final result. Suzanne Spaulding, senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, describes how prepared social media networks and other institutions were to combat misinformation related to the election in 2020 and how that compared to 2016.