Help Your Students Protect Our Democracy
Professor Steve Posner
Democracy & the News is a free resource for professors that increases civic engagement by keeping students informed about current events.
Students need a compelling reason to vote. Following the news gives it to them.
College students represent a powerful force
that can help preserve our democracy — if they vote.
Most students are underinformed about major issues in the news, and most professors, like me, do not have the time to teach them.
We do not have the time needed to create supplemental lessons that track the news, to develop extra homework assignments, and to do additional grading while covering the same material as we ordinarily do.
I created Democracy & the News to help colleagues keep students informed about crucial news that will shape the nation's future for a generation. The assignments are concise, and they do not interfere with regular coursework. Registration is free for anyone with an .edu email address.
Students who follow the news are more likely to vote.
Peter Levine at Tuft’s Center for Civic Learning & Engagement reports, “I’ve often encountered young people who say that the reason they don’t think they personally should vote is they’re not well informed, and they take that as kind of a moral position that they’re not really qualified to vote.”
According to Michael Sinkinson at Harvard and his colleagues Jesse Shapiro and Matthew Gentzkow from the University of Chicago, “Most theories of voting predict that individuals will be more likely to vote when they are better informed.”
In 2020, college student voter turnout climbed to a record high, with 52% voting in 2016, jumping to 66% four years later. Their research shows that following the news prompts 13% of non-voters to cast ballots in future elections. A similar increase in student voter turnout for the 2024 presidential election could be decisive.
Democracy & the News features reports from reputable news sources.
“Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen.” - Dwight Eisenhower