Welcome to Do Now’s Special Series on “The Press, The Presidency & Propaganda”. We live in a controversial and confusing political climate where there are daily disputes about what is factual and true, and what is not. We think it is important to have the vocabulary and media literacy background to think critically about different ways the nation and its leaders speak and write about issues that matter to us.
Join us here on Wednesdays in February for Do Now questions exploring different aspects of the press and propaganda as it relates to the presidency and public knowledge.
February 1: Lying Politicians & Propaganda
February 8: Censorship
February 15: The Fourth Estate
February 22: Citizen Accountability
“We The People…”
In a democracy, both the press and the system of government are here to make sure our best interests are being served in our collective pursuit of happiness. When local and national government representatives are elected, they are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the communities that elected them. So what happens if that is no longer the case?
While elections are the most direct way for citizens to show support or disapproval of representatives, they happen infrequently and don’t allow citizens to immediately address unfavorable actions. In between election years, constituents have found other methods to make their voices heard.
In recent months, public acts of civic participation–and news stories and social media coverage of them–have been on the rise. Members of the public have gathered in protests and marches over executive orders. They have attended town hall meetings to give direct feedback to their representatives. They have started and signed petitions on the government’s website whitehouse.gov and other online venues.
Watchdog groups, some of which have seen huge increases in individual donor contributions from citizens, have also used their expertise to hold the executive branch accountable. The ACLU, for example, filed a lawsuit challenging the executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Since this first legal challenge, a federal appeals court has suspended the order.
What are some of the ways we can hold our elected officials accountable?
Respond in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #DoNowAccountability.
5 Ways to Hold Political Representatives Accountable [The Huffington Post]
Government Accountability Starts with Local Action [National Review]