FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
FLORENCE, Mass. -- Recognizing the urgent threats America’s democracy faces, a prolific group of the nation’s leading podcast networks, shows, and hosts are joining RepresentUs Tuesday to officially launch the Pro-Democracy Podcast Coalition. The first-of-its-kind initiative, coordinated by podcast host Jody Avirgan, will provide millions of listeners the information and tools they need to safeguard elections and every Americans’ freedom to vote in 2022 and beyond.
In partnership with RepresentUs, podcasters in the Coalition will run nonpartisan pro-democracy messages on their shows, educating their audiences about voter access and election protection issues, and connecting them with meaningful actions to protect and strengthen democracy. The first message will start airing on participating shows later this month.
“The Pro-Democracy Podcast Coalition is sounding the alarm for their millions of listeners: This is a make or break moment for our country and our democracy. If we don’t take a stand, we risk losing America as we know it,” said RepresentUs CEO Joshua Graham Lynn. “It doesn’t matter if your politics are conservative or progressive, or if you listen to food podcasts or comedy podcasts. We need all hands from all sides on deck to protect democracy.”
The podcast networks that make up the Coalition oversee more than 100 shows, and feature a diverse range of topics, format, and demographic reach. Participants include Sonoro Media; The Sporkful, one of the nation’s most popular food podcasts; Dan Le Batard and Friends; Loud Speakers Network; Pushkin Industries, founded by Malcolm Gladwell; LWC Studios; TrueHoop; music and culture network Talkhouse; Radiotopia from PRX; Headgum, one of the most popular comedy podcast networks; Ear Hustle; and creators Jason Concepcion of Crooked Media, Michael Hobbes of “Maintenance Phase,” Chenjerai Kumanyika of Rutgers University, and Avery Trufelman of Vox Media.
“I don’t think anything compares to the way a trusted podcast host connects to their audience. For so many hosts, from so many types of shows, to pledge their support and express their values in this moment is inspiring,” said Avirgan. “Our country is facing an enormous challenge, but every act of conscience can help right the path toward a free and fair democracy for all.”
The participating podcasters joined the Pro-Democracy Podcast Coalition to take a stand for democracy at a time when states are gerrymandering voting districts, passing laws making it harder to vote, and in some cases, restructuring the way they administer elections and count votes.
"Podcasters have superpowers – they inspire empathy, community and determination," said Julie Shapiro, VP of Editorial at Radiotopia and PRX. "At Radiotopia from PRX, our purpose is rooted in public media and empowering both creators and listeners. We’re proud to join our peers in uplifting democratic values and supporting a mission for civic good. This is a great opportunity to help listeners stay informed and mobilize around urgent public issues of the day.”
"We often talk about podcasts as being one of the most accessible tools for democratizing media in the U.S. because almost anyone can start one. It’s an honor to have LWC Studios among the partner organizations using our platforms and audience reach to strengthen our actual democracy by encouraging broader voter turnout, fomenting civic engagement, and supporting a national conversation that can truly move our society forward,” said LWC Studios CEO Juleyka Lantigua. “I invite other podcasters to join us as we raise our voices for the collective good."
Future Coalition messages and calls to action will align with the necessary work of the movement to save democracy: passing federal baseline standards for voter access, fighting partisan gerrymandering, protecting our elections from anti-democratic threats, and passing pro-democracy policies at the state and local level.
RepresentUs is America’s leading nonpartisan organization fighting to protect and strengthen democracy. We unite independents, progressives and conservatives to pass pro-democracy laws, fight corruption, and defeat authoritarian threats. We have won more than 125 victories in cities and states across America since our founding 10 years ago. Each win is one step closer to our vision of making America the world’s strongest democracy.
Jody Avirgan is a podcast host, producer, and editor. He is the host of the Radiotopia show “This Day In Esoteric Political History,” and serves as story editor and executive producer for a number of projects, most recently “The Line,” from Apple Podcasts; and Adam McKay’s “Death at the Wing.” From 2017-2020, he ran and hosted 30 for 30 Podcasts, part of ESPN Films, and prior to that he was host of the “FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast.”