Information for Democracy

Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know

Providing information necessary for Democracy to function well, survive, and improve is one of the goals of this website,

The investigative reporting in these modern documentaries and docudramas may give you the quickest and easiest way to become better informed in an enjoyable way.

An “informed citizenry” is essential for a democracy. For democracy to work it needs not just an engaged citizenry, but a well-informed one.

A more informed citizenry will be able to make better voting choices, participate in politics, and hold government more accountable as a result

‘Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, among the people are necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties.’

Getting the basic facts right is essential to governing well, but it is difficult to get everyone to agree on the underlying facts; it is virtually impossible when there is no agreement on what the facts are.

Voters’ misperception can become formidable obstacles to the functioning of a democracy. Misperceptions develop for many reasons. It can be wearying to sort through all the sources of information—the media, advocacy groups, the Internet, politicians, commentators—on any given subject. And there are always political leaders, lobbyists and others who are willing to let misperceptions linger.

By the same token, there is no single fix.

Part of the answer lies with members of Congress and other public officials, who have a responsibility to correct public misperceptions.

Part of it lies with the media, which in recent years has shown a worrisome tendency to downplay its role as even-handed, in-depth civic educator and to focus on entertainment or once-over reporting.

Part of it lies with civic groups—some of them do their level best to counter the flood of misinformation, but they often seem outmatched.

In the end, the burden lies with each of us as citizens.

A lot of powerful groups and interests in this country try to manipulate public opinion, and they’re very good at it.

Yet a democratic society depends on its citizens separating the wheat from the chaff, forming good judgments, and putting pressure on their representatives to act accordingly. If ordinary people can’t do this or don’t want to devote the time and energy, the country suffers. No matter how good our leadership, if we don’t have discriminating citizens, this nation will not work very well.

There is an old observation that a society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.

Living in a democracy may be a basic right, but it is also a privilege, and it is one that must be earned by living up to the fondest dreams of our founders for a well-educated and knowledgeable citizenry.

(Much of the above is quoted from Lee Hamilton, Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University.)


The investigative reporting in these modern documentaries and docudramas may give you the quickest and easiest way to become a better informed citizen in an enjoyable way.


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Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know