Elections 2020: A Virtual Reporting Tour of the United States and the American Electoral Process

In fall 2020, over 214 journalists from 114 countries participated in Elections 2020: A Virtual Reporting Tour of the United States and the American Electoral Process. With disruptions to travel and in-person coverage of the 2020 U.S. elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meridian supported the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Centers (FPC) to transition to virtual programs and launched the first FPC Virtual Reporting Tour.

Since 2006, Meridian has supported the administrative and logistical aspects of FPC’s reporting tours and media-co-ops, implementing over 60 projects annually - on topics such as Indo-Pacific prosperity, Disinformation, Energy Security, and Media Literacy - that bring journalists from across the world to report from the United States.

The 2020 Elections Virtual Reporting Tour included 20 on-the-record press briefings with high-caliber political scientists, election experts, analysts, and pundits from prestigious U.S. institutions on the following topics:

  • Political Parties and Issues
  • Demographics of the U.S. Electorate
  • The African American Vote
  • Role of TV Ads and Social Media
  • Election Security
  • Polling and Analytics
  • Women and the Election
  • Foreign Policy
  • The Youth Vote
  • Election Day
  • Election 2020 Analysis
  • Role of the Presidential Debate
  • Role of Campaign Financing
  • Role of the Vice President
  • S. Electoral System
  • Countering Disinformation
  • Electoral College
  • Battleground States

Journalists had access through a virtual platform to exclusive U.S. elections content including an extensive library of exclusive interviews, B-roll, and still photographs to bring to life stories from key states such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington, D.C., to gain insights into the electoral process and the complexities of the 2020 election.

The 2020 Elections Virtual Reporting Tour became invaluable for journalists covering the elections from their home countries, allowing them access to more than a thousand media products with credible reporting, reaching more than 900 million people worldwide.

“Having covered the U.S. elections since 1984, this virtual program provided so many new insights and has ben indispensable to me as a one-man operation for my news outlet," said Jose Careno (El Heraldo, Mexico).

“As a result of this program, I became the go-to source on U.S. elections in my country; I was invited on several media channels to provide expert analysis and was also featured on the U.S. Ambassador's social media pages," said Julius Bizimungu (New Times, Rwanda).

Project summary