Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund

The Philadelphia Project

The Internet Archive is presenting searchable online libraries of the Philadelphia-region’s political advertising, television news, and related web and social media content leading up to the 2014 election. With its partners, the Internet Archive is matching political ad spending with publicly accessible data from television stations to reveal the financial sources of political influence in advance of Election Day.

Why We Invested

The Internet Archive is piloting a new approach to studying how local media in the Philadelphia region are meeting the information needs of their communities and assessing the influence of political spending on the region’s media ecosystem. Trained volunteers are searching through archived television news content to identify campaign commercials and tag them with information on who paid for them, and researchers are analyzing the content of TV news broadcasts to assess their topics and relationships with issues raised in accompanying political ads.

This collaborative effort, which includes the Sunlight Foundation, Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy and University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service, offers unprecedented opportunities to explore the influence of powerful actors in the political process, investigate representation of important community issues within a media ecosystem, and learn more about financial sources of political influence during the run-up to the 2014 elections.

How You Can Get Involved

  1. Volunteer to identify political TV ads in the Philadelphia-region and help process TV station PDF reports. Contact Kathy Kiely at the Sunlight Foundation or Patrick Christmas at the Committee of Seventy.
  2. Follow the Internet Archive on Facebook and Twitter.