Independence Day, America’s most important holiday, arrives next week. A flawed but fixable republic emerged from that fateful July 4 in 1776. We struggle toward a more perfect union, but we do make progress.

Today, a radical right-wing faction is waging war on democracy. Its leaders and followers have come to loathe much of the progress they see as a threat to their way of life. They are activists, working tirelessly to regain power and turn our nation into an authoritarian — or worse — regime that mocks the will of the majority with increasingly harsh minority rule.

If they…


Whistleblowers are essential players in uncovering wrongdoing committed by the powerful and in strengthening our democracies. As headlines remind us everyday, we owe our knowledge of the truth to many known and unknown whistleblowers all over the world. However, whistleblowers often face legal, physical, psychological, and economic consequences as a result of their actions. Those who risk their lives and livelihoods to bring us the truth deserve our support.

I’m a Board Member of the The Signals Network, an innovative non-profit (501c3) organization that protects whistleblowers who reveal major wrongdoing.

The Signals Network’s Whistleblower Protection Program affords customized support services…


Dear White House journalists:

No doubt at least a few of you were in the audience the other night when my friend Maria Ressa, co-founder and CEO of the online news organization Rappler, was recognized for her brilliant — and extraordinarily courageous — work in the Philippines.

Now she is in trouble with the increasingly dictatorial Philippines government, which hates her because she and her colleagues tell the truth about the regime. She needs your help, for starters. …


Readers need sustained, nuanced election coverage now more than ever

Credit: Blend Images — Hill Street Studios/Brand X Pictures/Getty

Americans’ rights to vote, and to have their votes counted accurately, are the basis of democracy. Those rights are under attack — via insecure elections, voter suppression, grotesque gerrymandering, and other direct and indirect attacks on our central rights and duties in a democracy.

Malign forces and staggering incompetence have made our elections a travesty. You would think, given the state of our elections, that they would be at or near the top of journalists’ agenda — as an issue deserving of relentless journalism putting it front and center for the public.

Instead of the sustained, deep, broad, contextualized coverage…


To fight back, work together

Photo by Philip Strong on Unsplash

When the most powerful person in the world declares war on journalism, you can respond in one of two ways. The first adds up to surrender. I’m sorry to say that some of you appear to have done so, by normalizing what is grossly abnormal and letting your enemies take advantage of the craft of journalism’s inherent weaknesses.

The other is to find allies, inside and outside the business, and go on the offensive — together.

The glimmerings of that second option may be appearing. Dozens of newspaper editorial boards (update: more than 300 as of Wednesday) plan to use…


An open letter to newsrooms everywhere

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is paid to lie for the Trump administration. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty

Please, just stop.

Please stop giving live airtime to liars. Stop publishing their lies.

Please examine what you’re doing. You are letting liars use your traditional norms — which made sense in different times and situations — to turn you into amplifiers of deceit. You know you are doing this, and sometimes you even defend it.

Please stop.

But but but but, you say, he’s the president and we have to publish what he says, because by definition what the president says is news. …


Image via Pixabay

For some time now, it’s been clear that one essential response to the flood of misinformation and other deceptive Internet tactics must be empowering users — people like you and me at the edges of the network of networks — to take at least some control of our own information flows and data. Yet the major Internet platform companies have, for the most part, been less than eager to help us.

There are, from their perspectives, good reasons for this reluctance. But I believe it’s time for them to do it anyway.

Facebook, in particular, is facing a nearly perfect…


As we move forward with our newsroom project — working with journalists and community members to boost the community information ecosystem — we’re doing some research beforehand.

We’re posting a draft today of the third of three surveys. The first is aimed at measuring a community’s news “awareness,” as we’re putting it. The second looks at gauging attitudes in the newsroom.

This one asks a third constituency for views and ideas: people who have been covered by journalists, or who are sources for coverage on a routine basis.

While some of these folks may have cynical views about the craft…


We’re posting a draft today of the second of three surveys. The first one, previously shared, seeks to gauge community “news awareness,” as we’re putting it. This second one is about what the people in the newsroom know, and how they feel, about some principles we’re trying to help them put into practice.

We’re looking for journalists’ views on news literacy, newsroom openness and community engagement (meaning conversation and collaboration that produces more credible news and greater news awareness).

We’re grateful to Talia Stroud and Gina Chen from Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas/Austin. We asked them…

Dan Gillmor

The first rule of a conversation: listen. Bio and disclosures: http://dangillmor.com/about

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