School of Journalism > News > CME Launching Connective Democracy Initiative with Knight Foundation Investment

CME Launching Connective Democracy Initiative with Knight Foundation Investment

Whether political or social, the divisions in our society seem to be growing swiftly and aggressively. And with these divides come new challenges in facilitating the exchange of information. The Center for Media Engagement proposes a new approach to tackling the issue: connective democracy. Supported by a five-year, $2.5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the center is launching a collaborative method to address problems created by polarization. "Connective democracy unites newsrooms, scholars, platforms, and public policy entities in a methodical approach toward bridging gaps in our society," says center director Talia Stroud. "We believe that, by working together, these groups can identify and put into action practical solutions to help bring people together across divides." More than a theory, connective democracy depends on collaborative work throughout the research process, spanning idea generation, study design, data collection, the interpretation of findings, the sharing of results, and the leveraging of findings to affect practice.

We believe that, by working together, these groups can identify and put into action practical solutions to help bring people together across divides. ~ Talia Stroud, Director, CME

Knight Foundation is making a $50 million investment to fund new, cross-disciplinary research at 11 American universities and research institutions. Each recipient will focus on different approaches to studying the future of democracy in the digital age.

The Center for Media Engagement, part of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, provides research-based techniques for engaging digital audiences in commercially viable and democratically beneficial ways.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. It invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. The foundation's goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which it believes are essential for a healthy democracy. 

Katalina Deaven

Marketing Specialist, CME


For more information, contact:

Kathleen Mabley at 512-232-1417