By Adrian Tawfik
Our website has generated a lot of buzz in the world democratic community, and we have received plenty of feedback asking for more in depth coverage of democracy. As we are in the beginning stages of our project, it might be helpful to discuss how Democracy Chronicles expands in order to better inform our readers of our goal to create a website that covers all the news about the global struggle for democracy in multiple formats including print, video, and the arts. Looking forward into the future, we hope that we are able to continue our commitment to building an enjoyable and educational experience for our readers while keeping our focus on democracy clear and center stage.
Our most important task at the website is recruiting talented thinkers, writers and artists to create original and thought-provoking content for DC. Thanks in large part to the hard work of our new editor, Teresa Censoplano, new writers like Akua Doku and Richard Fobes have given our website the ability to tackle vitally important issues that might otherwise have been missed like Ms. Doku’s article “Write-in Votes – Are They Impactful?” and writer Josh Stewart’s recent article “Voter ID: An Objective Approach to a Subjective Debate.”
Richard Fobes has been a particularly important asset to our writing team as, in addition to writing articles, he has introduced our website to the fascinating world of election method reformers and their important and continuing innovation in democratic theory. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Fobes, DC was able to produce a series of interviews with some of the best thinkers in the world of election method reform including Michael Ossipoff who has since joined us as a writer and is helping build our nascent political polling series using unconventional election methods.
Starting roughly three months ago, Mr. Ossipoff created the first poll for our website with the intention of educating our readers about the possibilities for changes in election methodology; readers are asked who they would vote for in the upcoming presidential elections if they could choose more than one candidate.
The Approval poll, which you can find on the front page of DC until August 22nd, has generated a lot of excitement among readers and election method experts, indicating that the world is open to election method reform and also,
that such reform can lead to a fighting chance for third party candidates from the Green Party to the Libertarians. Please take a look at Mr. Ossipoff’s latest poll using ranked voting called “Introducing Democracy Chronicles’ New Presidential Rank-Balloting Poll.”
A team of thinkers
Going forward, we plan to bring more writers on board to give our readers better access to original written content about the ongoing struggle to advance democracy. While our writers have come from all corners of the U.S., we are also seeking out international help. We plan to add international contributors to our team in the interest of building a deeper connection to the global democracy movement and to obtain true diversity for diversity’s sake.
Another aspect of our website, and one that is a personal favorite of mine, is the publication of original democracy related art. Many of you have already read some of the work, found here, of poet and writer Claire Bocage who has produced original democracy themed Haiku poems for DC on top of the work she already does writing original articles like “Presidential Donations and the Future of American Politics“. We are actively looking for similar democratic artists of all kinds to produce democracy related art for the website.
DC has also published many articles that highlight the incredibly diverse community of democratic artists that already exists on the Internet. The brilliant political cartoons of Khalid Albaih, found in our DC article here, have done more for Sudanese democracy than decades of effort by foreign activists. In the Syria conflict, where a dictatorship clings to power through violent repression, there is an amazingly diverse collection of artists who have helped solidify world opinion in favor of the Syrian people that we featured in the DC article “CARTOONS: Dozens of Artist Depictions of Syria’s Assad.”
Going forward, there is no limit to how art can be used to hasten the world’s transition to democracy and our website plans to be at the center of the action. Political cartoons will inevitably be accompanied by anything you can imagine including poetry, design, graphic art, photography, music, and the giant of all modern media: video. Art that deals with democracy and the fight against dictatorship, like Russia’s famous and heroic punk rockers Pussy Riot, will be featured as well as more drawings, animation, and other graphic art.
A multifaceted approach to news
The world of video is one of the most diverse platforms available and combined with the social media and growing mobile connectivity across all continents, the future struggle for democracy is surely to fought on this battlefield as much as any other. With all the creativity and inventiveness the democratic world can muster, the people who care must act for democracy. The powerful satire personified in the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the popularity of the Kony 2012 campaign YouTube videos are both reflections of the growing vitality of the democratic world and a demonstration of the opportunity for new innovation in political communication in the era of online video.
The importance of video to the world of news is the reason that DC is working on building a large and diverse collection of democracy related videos including everything from Freedom House’s YouTube channel to political discussions like the Charlie Rose Show on PBS or even original citizen-produced footage of the global democracy movement.
Democracy themed music videos, Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party related videos and recordings from the world of democracy protest will all eventually be included. Of particular interest are videos of protest as well as the work of democracy dissidents in dictatorships like China, Russia and Iran.
Taken together, the future of Democracy Chronicles is in building a network of writers, artists and activists that produce more complete analysis of the daily struggle for democracy and in a more complete fashion than currently exists anywhere on the Internet. Building a hub for global democracy, we plan to find that this “niche” focus will come to include all the important news in the world but from a perspective much different than the major media players where even the best are currently failing to address these issues adequately and without petty bias and prejudice.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the team at Democracy Chronicles there is no better time than the present. We are expanding and we want to hear from people from all kind of backgrounds and perspectives. Republican or Democrat, in Brooklyn or Bangladesh, we are looking for people who want to get their hands dirty and join the democracy fight. The clock is ticking and your skills are needed.