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USA TODAY NETWORK and Public Agenda to Explore the ‘Hidden Common Ground’ Among Citizens Leading to the 2020 Election

MCLEAN, VA.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Multi-platform partnership to include local community forums sponsored by the National Issues Forums Institute and a voter registration initiative powered by Vote.org

As part of its unique local-to-national coverage of the 2020 presidential election, the USA TODAY Network, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI), and Public Agenda are joining forces to explore the Hidden Common Ground in American public life.

Through nationwide polling, detailed reporting and community events, Hidden Common Ground will explore areas of authentic public agreement on major issues facing the American electorate.

The project will launch in December with an exploration of where citizens stand on the need for common ground and its role in our democracy. Subsequent installments will delve into health care, immigration and economic opportunity, all accompanied by original commentary from USA TODAY’s award-winning Opinion team.

“We believe a strong focus on what Americans agree on can make it more possible for Americans to confront and navigate their real divides and disagreements, such as those stemming from tensions of race, class and fundamental questions of political philosophy,” said Will Friedman, president and CEO of Public Agenda.

Hidden Common Ground will also feature a unique partnership with the National Issues Forums Institute, which will include the development of issue guides on each of the topics and support citizens’ forums in communities across the country. These forums will provide people with the opportunity to deliberate issues in person, as well as online in moderated groups.

The initiative is part of the USA TODAY Network’s commitment to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the 2020 election, fueled by its footprint in more than 100 local newsrooms across the country. That coverage includes industry-leading innovation in augmented reality, audio and video storytelling, interactive experiences and in-person events.

“Our goal is to be an oasis of clarity around the issues most important to voters,” said Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY editor in chief. “We want to educate, inform and empower the electorate.”

A third element of the Hidden Common Ground project, “Strange Bedfellows,” will raise awareness of how citizens in local communities are working across perceived divides to solve community issues.

“Our footprint in 109 communities -- from Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state to places like Milwaukee, where the Democratic National Convention will be held next year – gives us the unique ability to explore themes of common ground,” said Amalie Nash, executive editor for local news, USA TODAY Network. “This project will allow us to dig even deeper into some of the most important issues facing the country at a time when common ground seems sparse but desperately needed.”

Public Agenda is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and public engagement organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and expanding opportunity for all.

The Hidden Common Ground project is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It is also a major research project of the Kettering Foundation.

About USA TODAY NETWORK

USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co, Inc. (GCI), is the largest local-to-national media organization in the country, powered by our award-winning newsrooms and marketing solutions business. With deep roots in local communities spanning the U.S. with more than 100 brands, plus USA TODAY, we engage more than 125 million people every month through a diverse portfolio of multi-platform content offerings and experiences. For more information, visit www.gannett.com.

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