In a memo to staff on Tuesday, Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News Noreen Gillespie outlined a new collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York that will bolster AP’s coverage of voting rights issues ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election:
I’m writing to share some important news as the 2020 election season intensifies.The pandemic has disrupted voting in the United States. The conversion to mail-in balloting, and the health risks some voters could take to vote in person, could create new attempts at disenfranchisement. Who votes -- and who doesn’t -- are critical in telling the story of American elections. Misinformation that targets specific demographics, voter ID laws, the changing and shuttering of polling places and the access to and trust in mail-in ballots are all areas that could prove critical to the outcome of the election in November. And we are particularly focused on the tactics that reinforce systemic racism, and alienate voters of color from participating on Election Day.To support this effort, AP and the Carnegie Corporation of New York are working together to ensure that this critical storyline is front and center in the AP report. One of the foundation’s key priorities is to ensure a vibrant democracy. They have pledged funding through March 2021 that will help us make AP reporters available to focus on this critical topic.
Voting stations are set up in the south wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, for voters to cast ballots in the state's primary, June 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Like with all external support, the funding has gone through a standards review process, and AP retains complete editorial control over our journalism. Stories that are supported by the Carnegie money will carry language at the bottom of the story noting that support, as we do with our religion, HHMI’s Department of Science Education and Report for America collaborations.Thanks to this support, we have expanded our voting rights team. The national politics team, led by U.S. Political Editor Steven Sloan, and key reporters, led by news editors Ken Guggenheim and Tom Verdin, will work closely together to develop coverage that can only be delivered by AP.Voting Rights Team:Data journalist Angel Kastanis, dataTechnology editor Frank Bajak, technology/cybersecurityState government reporter Christina Cassidy, voting machinesNational security reporter Ben Fox, national securityStatehouse reporter Anthony Izaguirre, voting rightsReporter Alan Suderman, voting rightsPolitics reporter Nick Riccardi, vote-by-mailJustice Department reporter Eric Tucker, national securityReporter Astrid Galvan, ArizonaCorrespondent Terry Spencer, FloridaReporter Kate Brumback, GeorgiaReporter Corey Williams, MichiganStatehouse reporter Bryan Anderson, North Carolina (Report for America)Statehouse reporter Julie Carr Smyth, OhioSupervisory correspondent Scott Bauer, WisconsinStatehouse reporter Marc Levy, PennsylvaniaCorrespondent Adrian Sainz, TennesseeStatehouse reporter Acacia Coronado, Texas (Report for America)Many thanks to Director of News Partnerships Lisa Gibbs, regional political editor Kathleen Hennessey and state government editor Tom Verdin, whose vision and plan for this coverage shaped the proposal and helped turn the collaboration into a reality.Our journalism is strongest when we combine our subject matter expertise, data and geographic footprint. With the additional support from Carnegie, the AP is well positioned to break news. We are grateful for the support, and excited for all of the journalism to come.Noreen