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$7,965
pledged of $96,745 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By City Standard
$7,965
pledged of $96,745 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

In Australia, we have more information on the performance of our footy players than we have on the performance of our politicians.

The Democracy Project will build a web app that lets you keep tabs on and investigate how the South Australian Government is going. The app will track and interrogate the data the government creates rather than the statements being made in the mainstream media.  

This project seeks to overcome the noise of the 24-hour news cycle and empower you to make informed decisions about SA’s future.

The idea is simple, it’s just never been done before.

The Democracy Project's team of analysts, researchers and journalists will collect reliable, unbiased data on six key election promises made by Steven Marshall’s Government.

We’ll publish this data as easy-to-understand, interactive tools. We’ll update these tools with new data every three months for the whole four years of the Government. With this comprehensive, evolving resource that puts a bunch of useful information all in one place, you’ll be able to watch as things get better or worse, and understand why that’s happening.

Politicians promise a lot of things going into elections, but without The Democracy Project we don’t have any spin-free, long-term way of regularly tracking if they’re delivering on those promises.

Why are we doing this?

After 16 years of the Rann/Weatherill Labor Government we were left with mountains of press releases and news reports, but no real information on the changes made under that leadership – we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Next time we go to the polls, we want to have an easy way of knowing how well the Government has done.

And we want to strengthen our democracy and empower leaders to lead.  

By telling the story of the Government through data, instead of using the rhetoric, spin, and personality power that feeds the 24-hour news cycle, we can be informed by what the SA Government does, not just what it says it’s going to do.   

This is a simple tool that - because it is funded by you - is free from commercial or political interests.

“We kind of forget that the main responsibility of the media is to hold those in power to account on behalf of the public, and if we can’t have strong journalism then we can’t have a strong democracy,” Australian journalist Peter Greste recently told 5AA.   

We’re doing this because we think this kind of information is essential for a functioning democracy.

How are we going to do this?

We will be collating and gathering data in six key areas that are big concerns for South Australia —   

  • Electricity prices and mix of energy sources   
  • South Australia's perception of itself, and associated brain drain     
  • Urban sprawl – which suburbs are getting high rises, and how much (if any) agricultural land is turning residential?   
  • Support for arts and cultural initiatives   
  • Housing affordability – who is buying SA homes? Is it the people who need them? Can people who need them afford them?  
  • Employment across industries – what sectors are growing, which are shrinking, and why

What you get when you back this project

A.) 4 reports per year for four years 
B.) 16 reports total
C.) 1 final breakdown on the government's performance published prior to the next election.

Each report will contain a number of "click and explore" graphics (what we called interactive tools in the video above) to demonstrate patterns and moments of change during the government's tenure. 

Reports are produced by: The editor of City Standard – Farrin Foster, 
Professional researchers,
A data visualisation specialist,
A graphics editor,
Individual journalists

Information will be presented with layers of complexity – starting with easy-to-understand images, then burrowing down into the more complex details of the data this government generates over their four year term.

And when the data talks, we listen. Any divergences from promises or expected policy outcomes that are shown in the data will be explored and explained in stories by our team of journalists. These will add the important “why” element to this project – ensuring that reasonable deviations can be explained and understood instead of used as “gotcha” media moments. 

Join in

To make The Democracy Project happen, we only need 9,000 people to pledge at the bottom rate. And there are more than 1,000,000 who could benefit from this work in South Australia.

With your contribution this project could become a global example for reporting on the health of democracies the world over.

We’d love it if you pledged, and we'd love it if you shared this with your friends, families, and everyone you know. Together, we can set a new standard.

Who are we, anyway?

We are City Standard – a community-driven storytelling platform by the people who created CityMag. This project evolved from an idea put forward by Simon Loffler - a contributor to the City Standard community. City Standard is a Walkley-awarded project and a SA Media Awards 2018 finalist.

City Standard founders Tyrone Ormsby, Farrin Foster, and Josh Fanning. This image: Jonathan van der Knaap.
City Standard founders Tyrone Ormsby, Farrin Foster, and Josh Fanning. This image: Jonathan van der Knaap.

The main aerial image of Adelaide city is by Badstance.

Risks and challenges

There are always risks when you’re publishing – some people might think you’ve chosen the wrong facts to highlight, while others might believe those very same facts aren’t highlighted enough.

While the editorial team of City Standard are as fallible as anyone else, we have specifically designed The Democracy Project to be as objective and transparent as possible. We have gathered a team of independent researchers, data specialists, and journalists who have diverse backgrounds and beliefs, and we are all committed to being led by data, not rhetoric.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    AU$
    About $7
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 15 or more About $11

    Price of a movie ticket

    For the price of a movie ticket, you can support democracy. We’ll send The Democracy Project’s quarterly updates on the six key policy areas direct to your inbox.

    Plus, you’ll get a personal thanks on the website.

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    24 backers
    AU$
    About $11
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 30 or more About $22

    Keep em honest

    Go out to lunch or keep the bastards honest? We’ll send The Democracy Project’s quarterly updates to your inbox, and you’ll get a three-month subscription to City Standard where you can experience all our really bloody good stories.

    Plus you’ll get a personal thanks on the website.

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    30 backers
    AU$
    About $22
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 60 or more About $45

    Wear it with pride

    As well as the quarterly updates from The Democracy Project detailed above, you’ll get a free twelve-month subscription to City Standard and all its really bloody good stories, and a personal thanks on the website.

    And you’ll also get one of our limited-edition Founders’ Pins (1 of only 500).

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    26 backers
    AU$
    About $45
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $74

    Really bloody good patron

    A really good patron gets a really bloody good tote bag. You will get – Quarterly updates from The Democracy Project on the policies and promises, a free twelve-month subscription to City Standard (for really bloody good stories), a personal thanks on our Who We Are Page, a limited-edition Founders’ Pin.

    AND, a ‘Really Bloody Good Stories’ tote bag.

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    35 backers
    AU$
    About $74
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 300 or more About $223

    Big pledges deserve big rewards

    Of course, you’ll get The Democracy Project’s quarterly updates, a free twelve-month subscription to City Standard, a personal thanks on our website, a limited-edition Founders’ Pin and a ‘Really Bloody Good Stories’ tote bag.

    But, we will also send you a Giclée Fine Art print from any of the City Standard stories so far (it’s your choice).

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    2 backers
    AU$
    About $223
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $744

    Spend some time with us, we’ll be nice

    Quartely updates from The Democracy project, a free twelve-month subscription to City Standard, a personal thanks on our Who We Are Page, a Founders’ Pin, a ‘Really Bloody Good Stories’ tote bag, and a Giclée Fine Art print from any of our stories so far (your choice).

    PLUS an invitation to our Founders’ dinner, where you will meet the small team that is at the coal face of innovative journalism.

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    Limited (18 left of 20) 2 backers
    AU$
    About $744
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 3,000 or more About $2,233

    True philanthropists are truly valued

    You’ll get all the quarterly updates from The Democracy Project, and you will be a life-time member of City Standard community, which means access to our stories forever.

    You will also have the unique opportunity to join the City Standard team as they work on a story – accompany them on field missions for interviews and research and then be part of the discussions as the photographer, journalist, editor, and creative director draft the story.

    And of course all the other stuff that’s above – Founders’ dinner, Founders’ pin, ‘Really Bloody Good Stories’ tote bag, etc, etc

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    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
    AU$
    About $2,233
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