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The Democracy Box Phase 1 Report & Proof of Concept

September 21, 2020

We have lost our collective story

The majority of Welsh and UK citizens do not have a sound basic understanding of the UK democracy and how local, devolved and Westminster Governments all fit together and why.

How do we captivate and engage an audience of millions and include young co-creators/curators and intrigue everyone enough to want to engage with and participate in our democracy all year round and not simply at the ballot box.

Because if we get that right, we think low voter turnout will simply not be an issue.

Contents

What were we researching that has led to this proof of concept?. 2

What is needed and Why?. 2

How did we come to understand this & Survey Results. 6

What will the solution look like?. 8

Timelines & Structure. 10

Who are the stakeholders?. 11

Research Highlights. 12

Feedback comments from survey. 15

Relevant Links to sample feedback and content created. 22

Links to Existing Content which explains our Democracy which contributed to research. 23

 

What were we researching that has led to this proof of concept?

We began to R&D over a three month period –how to create or curate three things

  1. Existing Content – which communicates knowledge of our democracy and its history and how it works and all fits together & current actors in the democracy sector doing this work
  2. An Experience/engagement tool that drive people towards that content
  3. A best practice Co-creation model of working with young people

By knowledge of our democracy we do not mean party politics (although the need for neutral factual information about the main political parties which is not linked to election campaigning came up regularly)

We mean informing and educating people about the nuts and bolts. The difference between local government, devolved and Westminster. The difference between the First Minister and the Prime Minister and between an AM, MP and a councillor and what they are each responsible for. Understanding First Past the Post vs Proportional Representation and what a constituency is and what things are devolved in Wales and how laws are made and by whom and what our taxes pay for and who decides and what even the word democracy itself means and how we can get involved and have our say all year round and not just on election days.

Our seed research confirms that the majority of Welsh and UK citizens do not have, but do want, a sound basic understanding of the UK democracy and how local, devolved and Westminster Governments all fit together and why.

What is needed and Why?

A better understanding of the UK democratic systems and structures by a wider percentage of the population is required.

Our seed R&D confirms that the majority of Welsh and UK citizens do not have a sound basic understanding of the UK democracy and how local, devolved and Westminster Governments all fit together and why.

How do we Captivate and engage an audience of millions and include young co-creators/curators and intrigue everyone enough to want to engage with our democracy? Our preliminary seed funding research shows.

Two things are needed

  • A Public Information Campaign
  • An educational information campaign.

What might they look like? Well that is what the second stage of our R&D might be exploring but roughly speaking we think it could be:

A public information hub

A content toolkit for teachers and teacher training programme

We are ultimately seeking to influence policy change at Welsh and UK Government level on how our democratic systems and structures are taught within formal education.

We would argue that this work, to educate all citizens about our democracy is fundamentally the responsibility of government and that the platforms needed for this wide dissemination of public information already exist. In the form of our education system and British Broadcasters. We are not alone in making this argument.

“Instead we have found that citizenship education, which should be the first great opportunity for instilling and developing our values, encouraging social cohesion, and creating active citizens has been neglected. Often it is subsumed into individual development which, whilst undoubtedly important, is not the same as learning about the political and social structure of the country, how it is governed, how laws are made and how they are enforced by an independent judiciary. Nor does it offer an opportunity of practising civic engagement in schools, local communities and beyond. The decline in citizenship education has a number of causes: the revision of the national curriculum in 2013, the fact that academies are in any case not required to follow it, the low esteem in which the subject appears to be held, the decrease in the numbers of trained teachers and the corresponding fall in the numbers taking Citizenship GCSE. The Government must re-prioritise the subject, creating a statutory entitlement to citizenship education from primary to the end of secondary education, and set a target which will allow
every secondary school to have at least one trained teacher.”
The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century

In our survey with 150 respondents over 60% wanted more information on our democratic systems and structures and how local, devolved and UK government fit together and why. Some of that 60% classed themselves as having a little or quite a bit of knowledge already but needing/wanting more. 10% said they did not understand our different levels of government at all and who was responsible for what. And that is from 150 already engaged enough to take the survey.

With the voting age now lowered to 16 in Wales and a Welsh Election coming up in 2021 it is more important than ever to ensure as many people as possible understand how our democracy works and fits together before they are asked to cast their vote.

How do we tell that story of our democracy? Captivate and engage an audience of millions and include young co-creators/curators in the creation and telling of that story?

Much content already exists of varying levels of quality. Many brilliant people, organisations and departments are already doing this work.

What is missing is the curation, signposting and joining up of that content.

Why would someone who is not engaged even internet search it in the first place?

If people do engage, Finding and then navigating your way through the information is currently time consuming and difficult.

For example we found that whilst it is relatively easy to search which constituency you live in and therefore find your MP thanks to BBC tools it is much harder to find your Assembly Member and to understand why we have Regional Assembly Members and what their role is.

MySociety.org has developed an excellent tool for this under their ‘Write to Them’ function which also lists the areas which are devolved in all the nations. However this did not come up in multiple key word searches. It is therefore impossible to do a quick internet search to find a simple guide to which areas of law and responsibility are devolved in Wales.

There is also a large gap in the existing content. 

No existing content, that we could find, explains the whole democratic system. Welsh Assembly explains Wales. Westminster explains Westminster. The BBC interestingly mainly explains Northern Ireland via Bitesize. And all this separate information is usually event based. Or as one of my interviewees explained it is wrapped around the flagpoles of certain events whether that be 20 years of devolution or an election.

In between elections or events it is much harder to find the information but surely we should be informing the public, and each new generation all year round?

Most people we spoke to, including young people, see the BBC as the most trusted source of factual information in this area. However The BBC’s politics section where this information perhaps is thought to sit is predicated around rolling news and party political news and political news stories. Therefore an ongoing factual non newsworthy information about our democratic systems and structures becomes incredibly difficult to locate.

Key stakeholders interviewed, told us that their research tells them that people want one thing. A one-stop shop for information. This aligns with all our focus group conversations, survey results and work with our young co-creators. Most of the people we spoke to said the same thing – make it relevant to people’s lives. Make it be in one place and Make it simple.

Almost everyone we spoke to, interviewed, collaborated with and surveyed said this information needed to be taught in schools. Primary and secondary. Over 91% of those surveyed said that young people should be taught about our democracy in school. When asked at the end of the survey if they had anything to add the majority talked about educating our young people about our democratic systems and structures in school being of paramount importance.

The Covid19 Global Pandemic has highlighted the need for a greater understanding of UK and devolved governments and lines of responsibility. We believe that this is key and will allow all UK citizens to fully understand UK wide democracy.

We have lost our collective story. The story of our democracy belongs to us all and we cannot fully participate if we don’t know and understand the story so far. It is our story. We need to share it and own it and understand so we can write the next chapter together.

Most news stories are told as episodic stories. Episodic stories make the individual responsible and therefore deflect the responsibility from society. We need thematic stories which encourage societal responsibility. We need to reframe the story from the individual to the collective.

There is a breakdown in trust of democracy which is significant in the UK and is believed to lead to a decline in democratic participation.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51281722

Dissatisfaction with democracy ‘at record high’

Several factors are cited for this decline from the MPs expenses scandal to the EU Referendum to the referendum for devolution in Wales. Managed Democracy has come up time and time again throughout this research from governments led by Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair to the present day and all parties have been cited as responsible for historically not making knowledge of our democratic systems and structures shared by the majority of the UK population.as top priority for multiple reasons and agendas.

This research strongly points to the urgent and pressing need for that to now change and for the knowledge of our own democracy to be widely disseminated and shared with the entire population aged seven plus via formal education institutions and a mass public information campaign.

The words democracy, politics and government all have negative associations and come with baggage and create barriers in themselves as cited in The Frameworks Institute research who provide examples of the Values and Models shown through their research to effectively improve the public’s thinking about government.

Below arethree key findings from the Frameworks Institutes’s research in the USA around repositioning Government and increasing democratic participation.. We believe the word Government, Democracy and Politics are seen as interchangeable in the UK and in relation to the points below.

1. The word “government” poses an obstacle to productive thinking. 

2.  People’s immediate reactions to the topic of government are limited to two narrow default frames: The first frame considers government to be elected leadership and its decision-making functions; the second regards government as a large, bureaucratic mass. 

3.  People want to see a role for themselves as engaged citizens. 

 And four Key Communications Challenges Based on Insights from that Research

Emphasizing the mission of government as distinct from, but not antithetical to, business.

Reinforcing the notion of shared fate, in the form of the common good or quality of life, which gives rise to government in the first place.

Offering a persona for government more in keeping with democratic ideals: responsible manager, protector, long-term planner, the people’s voice, etc.

Connecting the role of government to values that the country as a whole embraces such as planning for a prosperous and healthy future for all, stewardship, and the building and preservation of community.

 

How did we come to understand this & Survey Results

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-P2VZX3TF7/

Our research prior to the Clwstwr Seed funding was via

  • Doorstep research
  • Workshops in schools
  • Conversations with a wide cross section of adults whilst developing our 2016 ‘Democracy Explained’ Interactive Workshop for schools
  • The Talking Shop Pilot and 550 visitors and recorded feedback

Our Clwstwr seed funding R&D project (March-June 2020) researched the current level of understanding of our democratic systems and existing content which explains it. We did this by

  • experimenting with an online Talking Shop for members of the public
  • focus groups with diverse young people aged 16-31
  • a survey with over 100 respondents
  • feedback via social media call outs and questions
  • desk research and reading (list attached)
  • fifteen one hour interviews with key stakeholders.
  • Explored the BBC and its current content re explaining Democracy and mapped this against its charter and five public purposes.
  • Recruited ten young co-creators aged 16-31. Each of this conducted their own research amongst family and friends. We reached around five hundred young people this way
  • Recruited a community consultant from the Somali Muslim community in Cardiff Butetown area
  • Contracted professional creatives – an animator and a cut through content creator to work with the young co-creators and contribute to the research and content creation

Our desk research (further detail and relevant links and bibliography below) can roughly be divided into five areas: –

  1. Researching existing content, organisations, events which tackle explaining our democracy
  2. Political structures, ideologies and philosophies which have created opportunities & obstacles past and present
  3. Story structure and story-telling and engagement tools for disseminating public information and how we consume and are communicated with via multi digital media platforms
  4. Frameworks, systems change and design for policy
  5. Generational divide and digital/social media platforms and the public Information Film.

We contracted 10 16-31 year old for the equivalent of 1 day. We took six of their ideas forward for another day and then finally narrowed it down to working on three ideas with four of them for one day more.

We had hoped for the germ of one idea from this process. Instead we were blown away by the creative energy and plethora of ideas and approaches to engaging people from a board game to an interactive game show to content for Instagram TV to spoken word.

We have trialed a framework process for collaborating with young people which can be replicated.

We have now generated ten ideas for content and engagement which can be developed

Let’s think about Dickens and soap opera. The serialization of story. Let’s compare that to binge watching and consumer choice and streaming & the archaic nature of programme scheduling.

Now let’s connect into both. The availability of information when and how people want and need it combined with a collective national storytelling when information, the next instalment is released the same time every week. It is often cited that young people or ‘people nowadays’ do not have long attention spans and yet people binge watch entire series/box sets and there has been huge growth in people listening to long podcasts and favoring long reads across digital media. We need both.

You tubers came up again and again. As did celebrities and how to look at current formats which gather huge viewing numbers and followers and utilise this to tell the story of our democracy.

Going back to basics was a recurring theme of the research. One element of this was via an interview with someone who had made ‘trigger tapes’ in the seventies. Short films/community campaigning videos to raise awareness around issues effecting local communities. That person has now gone back to basics and now publishes community newspapers. He raised the interesting idea that sometimes the only way to reach people is via their letterboxes which is why all the main political parties still spend the main part of their campaign budgets on leaflets and mailshots and why our Prime Minister at the start of lockdown felt it necessary to send a letter to every household in the UK. Should there therefore be a ‘letterbox’ element of any future communications/engagement strategy?

Finding a balance between entertainment/keeping it light and still being responsible/factual and informative came up again and again in our seed R&D with reference to humour, sarcasm, music and animation being key.

What will the solution look like?

We have confirmed that two things are needed

  • A Public Information Campaign
  • An educational information campaign.

What might they look like? Well they need to be sustainable and ongoing and all year round and what and how is exactly what this second stage of our R&D is exploring in four ways

  1. How to get this embedded into the Welsh Curriculum from year 5 – 11 and create training and toolkits for teachers
  2. The old style Public Information Films and how to create a version for now which would be broken up into different lengths and formats and sit on multiple media formats from broadcast to social media platforms.
  3. How to create a public facing hub or one stop shop which can also be that teacher toolkit and be where the Public Information Films sit and can also signpost to all the already brilliant existing content AND enable people to navigate their way through the ever growing democracy sector. 
  4. How to launch and then support all this with live and ongoing public events.
  • A public information hub A one stop shop for content and engagement with our democratic systems and structures which will both create new content and signpost to existing quality content and link to partners and key stakeholders such as parliament engagement teams, Electoral society, Democratic Society, MySociety, ShoutOut etc. Curate existing content so that it is simple and digestible.

It could include content for broadcast and multi-media platforms including social media. It could host for example work that has already begun with our young creators from the seed funding stage including

An educational rap series

Picking Brains Podcast – No shame. No blame Peer to peer information sharing.

Ask an MP podcast series – Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Educated

Public Information Film Campaigns Rolled out via broadcast and multi-media platforms

  • A content toolkit and teacher training programme. This will utilise the content created above. We will tailor it for teachers, linking it with the new Welsh curriculum requirements and breaking it into age/key stage components and link to existing providers. It will be divided into schemes of work for both primary and secondary students and will include SEN differentiation. This will be accompanied with a teacher training package. We will seek to make this mandatory and be provided by the four consortia across Wales.
  • A framework for working with young co-creators. A best practice toolkit from recruitment to all stages of co-creation, wrap up, feedback and evaluation based on previous 30 years’ experience of working with young people and this successful co-creation model.

What we also know is that a large scale marketing/PR campaign or ‘public intervention(s) will be required to draw attention and introduce and support the ongoing telling of this story. This may be in the form of large screens in public places (e.g. Cardiff Central Square), roadshows or public ‘happenings’ or ‘live interventions’. Provotypes rather than prototypes may be the way forward to provoke conversation and creative debate to influence policy (such as Education policy) and broadcast strategy rather than a product(s).

A three stage future output could look like this:

  1. An expectation. Curiosity is aroused /A build up. The Countdown & the wait (PR/Comms/Marketing/Advertising/Teasers)
  2. A shared event. Shared knowledge. (Live Intervention/Experience/Roadshow/Public Event(s)/Screenings/Projection(e.g. Led By Donkeys) or Introductory Broadcast Public Information Films on TV, Cinema and in open Public Spaces
  3. The long game. Collective shared knowledge existing and content being curated and created and accessed all year round  (Public Information Hub and primary and secondary school curriculum)

Timelines & Structure

The seed funding research took three months. The next stage will be a twelve month project. The prototypes for both the above could be ready by April 2021 in time for the next Welsh Assembly Elections.

The seed funding R&D was structured as follows

  • STAGE 1 – open investigation, desk research, initial interviews, survey starts to be drafted, co-creation designed, co-creator call out & recruitment
  • STAGE 2 – ongoing interviews & desk research & targeted background reading following initial research and interviews in stage one. Focus groups recruited and facilitated. Co-Creation stage with twelve freelancers. Survey redrafted with consultation with focus groups and co-creators.
  • STAGE 3 – Final presentation from final four co-creators. Evaluation and drawing together of different strands of research. Final Report written. Presentation prepared. Next stage application.

The structure of the next stage will follow a similar structure with all partners being brought on board in stage one and creation of prototypes sitting within stage two, creation phase and dissemination and testing in stage three.

At the core of this work are the young co-creators and the professional creatives. This is key to content creation and future engagement.

Schools and colleges/universities are also key to the reach, testing and success of future prototypes

Who are the stakeholders?

Please note this is a live list and is being added to. There are many key actors already doing superb work in this area and the second phase of research will aim to identify further collaborators and partners.

This research focuses on England and Wales and the UK Government and the Welsh Government. It does not take into account the other two UK devolved governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland however we would strongly recommend that any future research does so.

  1. Welsh Government. (first stage)
  2. UK and devolved governments (2nd stage)
  3. BBC “The BBC should provide duly accurate and impartial…. factual programming to build people’s understanding of all parts of the United Kingdom ….It should offer a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers, ….so that all audiences can engage fully with ….and participate in the democratic process, at all levels, as active and informed citizens.” BBC Charter Public Values
  4. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 who all have Public Service Broadcasting obligations which this work falls under
  5. Parliament Engagement Team in Wales first followed by counterparts in Westminster and other devolved nations s
  6. Departments of Education. Wales and then England.
  7. Education Consortia in Wales & Arts & Education Networks
  8. National Agencies – Art Councils and Creative Wales
  9. The Electoral Commission
  10. The Democratic Society
  11. MySociety
  12. Citizens UK
  13. Arts Council Wales and The Creative Learning Team
  14. Democracy Club
  15. Shout Out
  16. The Electoral Reform Society

Research Highlights

A few of the most salient research points can be summarised as follows:

The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century. Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement
The Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement was appointed by the House of Lords on 29 June 2017 with the remit “to consider citizenship and civic engagement”.

Story structure and story-telling and engagement tools for disseminating public information

“communications is storytelling; but the stories we tell must have all the elements in place: Values, that orient the audience to the big idea, or to “what this is about;” Simplifying Models, that concretize and simplify complex scientific explanations of how things work; reasonable tone; reinforcing visuals; effective messengers; and thematic stories that include causal sequences, or stories that explain the link between cause and effect.”

So:-

Values

Simplifying Models

Reasonable Tone

Visuals

Effective Messengers

Thematic Stories

Stories which and explain Cause & Effect

“We are meaning-seeking creatures.” Karen Armstrong: Myths and the Modern World

“…the most prevalent news stories on social issues are what’s known in framing research as “episodic.” They take a highly personal, individualized view of a situation. You could think of this as focusing a telephoto lens on an issue. While these stories may be highly compelling, telling them through this tightly focused lens leaves a lot of important aspects out of the picture: what factors and conditions are responsible for the problem; what are the opportunities for public engagement; what is the impact on the larger society; and is there a need to change systems, laws, policies and programs. In contrast, what we call “thematic stories” take in the big picture, including environment, context, trends, and solutions. Thematic stories open the door to a better understanding of both the causes of social problems as well as potential solutions to them. “http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/workshops/wideanglelens/children/part1-4.html

10 questions to make a story John Yorke

“This is a field-guide about how to use story and narrative to change systems. It’s themed into three areas: story as light, story as glue and story as web….

Story as light: Using the illuminating power of story to show the lay of the land (past, present and future)

Story as glue: Using story to build and cohere communities of change makers

Story as web: Using story to change the nest of narratives in which we live. A key tension running through all this is that between orchestration and openness.

We no longer live in a broadcast era where we must passively receive our stories en masse. Instead, growing numbers of people have the means to be storytellers as well as story-listeners. As systems changers, we should seek to enable others to use story to illuminate the lay of their land, to cohere communities, and to reauthor the nest of narratives they live in. How can we enable more people to use this most ancient technology to change systems for the better?” Ella Saltemarshe https://content.gulbenkian.pt/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2018/02/08122506/TELLING-THE-DIFFERENCE_Digital_.pdf

People and communities continually learn how to democratically express themselves, and the firms, governments and other organisations that make up societies learn how to develop appropriate mechanisms to facilitate and co-ordinate this input. Central to these learning processes is the ability for people to inform themselves of the relevant issues, and to interact with one-another in debating, forming and evolving their (individual and collective) views. This is where the broadcasting industry plays an especially critical role in the economy.” Transmitting Democracy: A Strategic Failure Analysis of Broadcasting and the BBC

“There is a tolerance of untidiness in the UK around UK Local Government but the whole system (of democracy) is so complicated that people stop trying to understand. For democracy to work the stories have to work. People don’t all want to write the ending but they want to help curate it.” Sarah Tanburn Interview.

The Frameworks Institute research

1. The word “government” poses an obstacle to productive thinking. 

 Can this be interchanged with Democracy and Politics? “Deep-seated ridicule learned and conditioned over time, remains a major impediment to engaging citizens in a discussion about government as us, and government as problem-solver.” 

2.  People’s immediate reactions to the topic of government are limited to two narrow default frames: The first frame considers government to be elected leadership and its decision-making functions; the second regards government as a large, bureaucratic mass. 

“…two frames as “Government as Them,” and “Government as It.” Importantly, both of these frames render invisible that which government truly is and does, and discourage citizen engagement in government. Government as “Them”: The conflation of government with politics. Among the most damaging misperceptions of government is a chronically available “default frame” that equates government with elected officials, the current Administration and politics as usual, and suffers from parallel associations with corruption, partisanship, and elitism.” 

“Government as ”It”: Government as a mission less, bureaucratic, paper-pushing thing. When reasoning in this frame, there is an exaggeration of government waste and inefficiency. “

3.  People want to see a role for themselves as engaged citizens. 

 They want to engage in long-term problem solving, but see the domain of government (confused with politics) as being about short-term or shortsighted decision-making that systematically excludes them. However, when people are reminded of the goals of government and given vivid pictures to reinforce its mission, they readily engage in the discussion and in reasonable, problem-solving approaches to public issues. Working on behalf of the public good, advancing the common interest, protecting public safety, planning for the future – these are the core functions of the public sector that serve to engage people. This way of thinking about government is, however, so rarely evoked by opportunities in their daily lives that it remains vague and difficult to conjure …Clearly, we must find more effective ways to trigger a “we the people” experience.

 Key Communications Challenges Based on Insights from Research

 There are many missing ingredients in the discussion about government, namely:

Emphasizing the mission of government as distinct from, but not antithetical to, business.

Reinforcing the notion of shared fate, in the form of the common good or quality of life, which gives rise to government in the first place.

Offering a persona for government more in keeping with democratic ideals: responsible manager, protector, long-term planner, the people’s voice, etc.

• Connecting the role of government to values that the country as a whole embraces such as planning for a prosperous and healthy future for all, stewardship, and the building and preservation of community.

As the above factors emerged, they began to draw a distinction between two coherent and opposed views of government held by the public.

The Consumerist view, while widely held, does little to move people to appreciate, protect and preserve a vigorous role for government in public life. Rather, it substitutes a “buyer beware” individualist mindset in the place of collective action, from its focus on getting the most for one’s money to small picture thinking about available products and point-of-purchase decisions.

By contrast, the Citizen view promotes engagement with the common good and recognizes the shared public purposes of government.

 Translating the Challenges into Successful Practice: Essential Elements for Reframing Government

“As FrameWorks has written elsewhere, the Strategic Frame AnalysisTM approach teaches that communications is storytelling; but the stories we tell must have all the elements in place: Values, that orient the audience to the big idea, or to “what this is about;” Simplifying Models, that concretize and simplify complex scientific explanations of how things work; reasonable tone; reinforcing visuals; effective messengers; and thematic stories that include causal sequences, or stories that explain the link between cause and effect. We provide, below, examples of the Vaes and Models shown through our research to effectively improve the public’s thinking about government. “

“Our nation’s success is based on the power of people working together. Whether it is revitalizing a crumbling downtown, restoring parkland, or determining health and safety regulations, our nation’s quality of life now and into the future depends upon citizens working together.”https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/ Social Change

Feedback comments from survey

Q:Do you think government funded public information films should return & be used to explain our democratic systems & structures?

Depends who makes them, they need to be good and appealing to watch. Not dry! Not formal and boring. Not

On which platforms and how to ensure they are consumed?

As we have seen recently, a government with mal intent can use this tool to further their own agenda – An independent regulating body should be used to either fact-check/audit the content to make sure it is in the best interest of the public.

To be used in educational context and environment, yes. General release – no…public are politics/ campaign weary

Needs to be fronted by national figures not politicians and screened in cinemas and gigs or used on social media not TV. Few young people watch scheduled TV with adds etc

Funding is scarce :(; I would consider it worth it to explain why democracy is important and why voting matters etc.

They should be impartial and fact checked

They need to feel relevant, inspiring, truthful, not feel condescending, encourage people to feel like they have genuine agency

it would need to be clear they weren’t politically motivated and specific to any current government. Independence would be crucial.

I feel like most people may ignore them and find them boring. They would have to make them fun and diverse

Any type of propaganda can be harmful or untrue

They would have to be created while being neutral on explaining keys facts (not too far right wing and not too far left wing)

maybe but in the past these have been extremely biased- I don’t know how they would be able to overcome that.

They must be impartial and cover each basis (not be all roses and sunshine)

People have little faith in government so might not engage. Ironic as knowing more might give more faith…

Concern about political bias

Done in a far more engaging way

With independent checks on accuracy and balance

The government is a government complicit in colonialism and the prison industrial complex. I do not trust British state funded information films to be free of their white supremacist capitalist bias to explore democratic systems and structures given racial, ethnic and gender disparity in government institutions such as the Senedd. I think it is, well intentioned, naive, and internal bias would be replicated in these films to suggest e.g. democracy is able to exist unproblematically under capitalism without being reliant on e.g. exploitation of third world labour, legacies of colonialism etc. Maybe the creation of these films could happen in innovative manners, and my disenfranchisement from democratic structures owing to colonialism and slave trade etc. These films could be valuable for wanting to seek change within these structures, most certainly, but the epistemological view is absolutely integral not to replicate disenfranchisement and formulaic pit stops and tick boxes for a perception of ontologically discourses of governance.

I feel they’d only be viewed by people who are already engaged. It’s the people who don’t engage who need to be reached AND LISTENED TO

The short covid 19 information films that have been circulating recently have largely been ignored

Government is not impartial – should be overseen by an independent body

By an objective committee / company

Social media bitesized

They would need to be made differently to aim towards certain audiences. For example; could pop one on before Eastenders which is relatively serious, but that wouldn’t hit everyone. You could also pop one on Tiktok, but it would need to involve an influencer and some jokes.

depends on distribution

But they need to be good (entertaining, compelling) and probably independent and fact checked!

Well it would be biased towards the current government m

There should be a complete unbiased approach to it

Depends if the government will influence what is in them in exchange for funding them!

Depends on how they are funded and if there is sponsorship ‘interference’

without bias

I’d like them to also explain alternatives

My concern is that if these were government funded then they would be intrinsically biased.

at low expense

Provided it can be guaranteed to be non-party political

Would have to be really good and targeted to the different audiences

I would worry about whether there would be bias in the delivery

Don’t really remember them

They should be independently made to allow for free thought to allow viewers to think of other possibilities outside our current system

I think people don’t trust the authorities

Q10 Please tell us any other ideas or thoughts about Q8 & how we better inform people about our democracy and how it all works and fits together.

(Q8 How would you make sure everyone had a better understanding of everything to do with government, politics and democracy? How it all works and how to have their say?)

Children’s books/ stories is always a good way to educate about complex ideas- finding ways to simplify it for children (and their adults)

introduction of people’s assemblies would give people more stake and investment in issues

But they need to be more engaging and think more about who they are engaging with and where that engagement takes place.

I believe that children will always follow their parents. If the information was broadcasted through social media and text messages this would get adults reading. Provided the information was about all parties pros and cons. Not one sided information like we see today. If adults are given all information required equally to make an informed decision this would pave the way for the next generation. I believe children maintain what they hear somewhere, so if a parent was to rant and rave about certain parties etc., in the future they could potentially sway from the party they heard was bad from parent and not use their own choice. If pros and cons (of each party) were to be delivered to each person of voting age, everyone would potentially have the facts to make a decision for themselves. (Not everyone will choose for themselves) but a majority is a start.

Via education, social media and some live events and celebrity involvement.

Informal education in community settings delivered in an accessible way. Politics used to be discussed in pubs and the work place (unions) discovering a new way of engagement that it’s authentic is key

To create a way where it can be explained to different age ranges in a way in which it is fully understood by them and it is enjoyable

They should begin introducing it at schools and start teaching children from a younger age.

Spread it Accor social media as in it should be shown to people more often. Or make a special day that talks about it or week

meetings of MPs with local groups

Teach it from a young age to students

Maybe organise an event so everyone can come and benefit something from it.

Part of the curriculum. Teach children that politics affects everything – from the price of food to the opportunities they will have in life.

Many people learn skills on social media, it seems a good place to teach politics

Interactive live TV debates on more often

Theatre should be used somehow. I think there should be an emphasis on taking theatre to the people through different forms. For example, street theatre that respects the 2 meter rule, performance art installations that conform to the new rules but are accessible to people who are self-isolating or shielding. But we will need to think of ways in which to prevent people from ‘gathering’.

I think the most effective way of informing people is to teach it from a young age, informing older people about it could be easier by showing them how it affects us all

I believe it is vital to teach it in schools and help kids understand from a young age the basic principles of politics.

Mail drops. School / college events. Drama / quiz engagement activities for youth / podcasts

have to be careful public information firms & teachers aren’t biased

People need to be taught philosophy and critical thinking before being presented with biased information from govenments about how well they are doing

Greater equality through a more equal educational system will instill in people a sense of shared ownership and responsibility. This will give better understanding of democracy.

Probably need to start with explaining that democracy is a myth. The media decides who runs the country through their propaganda and refusal to scrutinise those in power. Labour sabotage proves that the interests of the common people are not considered. Democracy is dead.

People in the UK predominantly think that the politics are for parties, while politics are the backbone of democracy and people need to get involved beyond making a cross on a ballot once in a few years. Democratic participation should be taught from school and reinforced by civic society organisations in form of events and media campaigns

Education

Personally think it’s a bigger structural change than merely informing people. Change needed throughout education system. Start as young as possible so that young people feel they have a stake in how democracy functions. Should be properly modelled in school, so that as well as being better informed, young people can see/feel it in action and why it matters to their lives. School councils are not enough, and do not give children a real say in the school. They quickly learn that what they say in these forums holds no real sway and rarely leads to action or meaningful change. Teachers and local authorities have all the power in their experience.

Include it in Welsh Bac.

school talks and such might be a good idea, the key thing with schools is that teachers have to remain apolitical so if it can be done in an apolitical way I think it would be beneficial!

Run participatory projects that encourage people to use their voices and to make decisions

I’m just concerned whatever you do will be biased, especially if you’re trying to make it fun.

probably more widespread content on social media + collaborating with celebrities/influencers that are more accessible and relatable to young people

Public online talks (Tedx style); Work with University student unions for student focused campaigns; Competition for social media campaigns for different platforms (Instagram, tiktoc etc).

More reliable and easily accessible information

Fundamentally I think people should learn about this in school. From there future adults will have more knowledge to pass on to children. I believe info should be given impartially, only facts on how democracy and the processes involved with government work without trying to influence people toward one party or another. People should be taught how to check if a source is credible and how to research an issue so they can make their own informed decision.

I’d reiterate the notion of agency. To feel like you as an individual genuinely can make a difference. To not feel like ‘party political broadcasts’ which are exhausting.

Teach philosophy to everyone especially children and young people to promote critical thinking and more understanding of where ideas and ideologies come from.

Get people educated, we’re lurching towards fascism!!#

Make government websites more accessible if someone wants to find out more about democracy.

Local involvement is vital

I believe introducing politics and democracy at a young age is the best way to have young people engaged.

teach it from an early age

nb. Further Feedback attached to Final Report and next stage R&D application

Relevant Links to sample feedback and content created

Omidaze Productions The Box Clwstwr Seed Funding R&D sharing June 11 2020.

Clwstwr R&D the Box Survey Results

Clwstwr Seed R&D Project The Box

Clwstwr R&D The Box young creator’s feedback video

Yvonne talking about Omidaze/Clwstwr seed R&D project and online Talking Shop

TheBoxMINIPOD
The Box is a Clwstwr seed-funded R&D Project which gives young people around Wales the chance to co-create content aimed at explaining the democratic process in Wales, and in the UK.
soundcloud.com

Talking Shop Pilot Film

Talking Shop Report – The Story So Far

Links to Existing Content which explains our Democracy which contributed to research

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAMbIz3Y2JA Westminster Resource Intro to Parliament
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbLTwQwXqWc How Parliament Works in nearly 60 seconds (Westminster resource)
  3. Who’s in charge of Britain Horrible Histories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMXJOKhf_AA
  4. University of Leeds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs-9B3FRXCA

5.      Houses of History – Explore the story of Parliament and democracy Westminster Resource

8.      National Assembly for Wales – Who we are and what we do (assembly resource)

9.      Wales 2016 – How your vote works (Assembly resource)

  1. Democracy in the UK today University of Leeds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKCd0pTCLfM

11.  What is democracy? – with Danny Wallace Westminster Resource

  1. https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121003074658/http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/UKgovernment/Centralgovernmentandthemonarchy/DG_073438

13.  AFP News Agency following 2015 General Election Britain’s political system explained

  1. Channel 4 News Is Britain really Democratic? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARnQmrLxjBk

15.  Learn English with Gill. Learn about the UK political system & elections

16.  The Daily Show – Democracy in the U.K. – Road To…Wait That’s Where the Prime Minister Lives

15.  A brief history of representation, from monarchy to democracy

 This video is from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/i… ‘Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation’ is a free online course created by the Houses of Parliament on FutureLearn.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYYq1yDSfqc

16.  Elections and voting explained (primary) Westminster Resource

17.  Brexit explained: what happens when the UK leaves the EU? Channel 4 News

  1. https://www.instagram.com/welshyouthparliament/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVf12YBUKxU – joe.co.uk Register to vote: do you know there’s an election coming?
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB2rF8sZfjE – wales online How young rugby players feel about the General Election
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlLmWpT2Pes -YMCA BRIEF
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTFt5PnB95k – YMCA collection
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmbRa0T_jzo – electoral reform service
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRxUhGetEPQ – BBC new voting system explained
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEPs9Ob0Oag – American based but about millennials 

30. Democracy Is Dead. What Now? | Russell Brand & Prof. David Runciman

 31. Institute of Economic Affairs Realignment: The future of British politics

32. The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained GCP Grey This should be played in every class in every school over and over and then interrogated!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eoDwvl0QGk  “I’ve come across the YouTube channel TLDR News, (TLDR meaning: too long, didn’t read)  I think the name is a great start because it’s direct and a lot of people don’t watch the news because the content isn’t always easy to follow. Likewise, in reading news articles. Their introductory video is so punchy, encouraging you to want to stay in the loop without feeling out of your depth with information.” Young Creator
  • “TLDR News has a parliament explained section as well as current news affairs that are discussed and broken down simply. They also post articles about the topics they discuss in their videos. “https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSMqateX8OA2s1wsOR2EgJA
  • Who sits where in the house of commons  TLDR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P3THUM62MY

Young Co-Creator – “Some of the episodes I’ve watched are”:

43. John Cleese: we need Proportional Representation to #MakeVotesMatter

“This is an article on how celebrities were using their platforms to engage voters during the last general election” Young Co-Creator:

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