Democracy in Crisis: Views from the Press

U.S. democratic institutions are under attack. While law enforcement agencies and a Congressional committee still work to investigate the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol – political violence aimed at blocking or overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election – a wave of subsequent efforts have continued to seek to undermine the norms and structures that have given Americans basic confidence in elections and in the peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, from state houses to the Supreme Court, bitter debates rage over voting rights, access, and security. 

The University of Michigan will host four award-winning journalists who will share their insights into the forces threatening and protecting American democratic structures and systems. The series is a partnership between the Gerald R. Ford School of Public PolicyWallace House, and U-M Democracy & Debate 2021-22.

The Democracy in Crisis series will also explore the current state of journalism and the role of the press in upholding democratic institutions–at a time of demagogic attacks on the media and dramatic shifts in media ownership and independence.

The series begins with three events in March featuring Molly Ball, Barton Gellman, and Sarah Kendzior, and will culminate in a keynote lecture at the Michigan League by Pulitzer Prize winning author, journalist, and historian, Anne Applebaum, on April 4. 

‘Democracy: What It Takes’ With Molly Ball

WHEN: Mar 9, 2022, 4:30-5:30 pm EST

WHERE: Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom 1110 (and live-streamed)

735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Join to hear from TIME National Political Correspondent Molly Ball in conversation with longtime political writer Craig Gilbert to kick off the Spring 2022 Democracy in Crisis series.

‘Democracy in Crisis’ With Barton Gellman

WHEN: Mar 23, 2022, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT

WHERE: This event is virtual.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Barton Gellman in conversation with Michigan Law Professor from Practice Barbara McQuade, as part of the spring 2022 Democracy in Crisis series.

‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ With Sarah Kendzior

WHEN: Mar 31, 2022, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT

WHERE: This event is virtual.

Hear from Sarah Kendzior, author of Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America, as part of the spring 2022 Democracy in Crisis series.

‘Democracy in Crisis: “The Twilight of Democracy”’ With Anne Applebaum

WHEN: Apr 4, 2022, 4:00-5:30 pm EDT

WHERE: Michigan League Ballroom (and live-streamed)

911 N University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Pulitzer Prize winning historian, journalist and commentator Anne Applebaum delivers the keynote lecture of the Spring 2022 Democracy in Crisis series, in conversation with Dean Michael S. Barr.