connective democracy

Our society is witnessing an entrenchment of divisiveness – the media versus the public, Democrats versus Republicans, urban versus rural. Whether political or social, the divisions in our society seem to be growing swiftly and aggressively. And with these divides come new challenges in facilitating the exchange of information. The Center for Media Engagement proposes a new approach to tackling the issue: connective democracy.

Connective democracy unites newsrooms, scholars, platforms, and public policy entities in a methodical approach toward bridging gaps in our society. We believe that, by working together, these groups can identify and put into action practical solutions to help bring people together across divides.

More than a theory, connective democracy depends on collaborative work throughout the research process, spanning idea generation, study design, data collection, the interpretation of findings, the sharing of results, and the leveraging of findings to affect practice.

Whether political or social, the divisions in our society seem to be growing swiftly and aggressively. And with these divides come new challenges in facilitating the exchange of information. The Center for Media Engagement proposes a new approach to tackling the issue: connective democracy.

Newsroom Resources

How Newsrooms Can Help Bridge Divides: Lessons fro...

July 8, 2021

Learn from a panel of experts on how newsrooms can better understand their communities and humanize those with diverse views by using the principles of connective democracy. Read More
How Newsrooms Can Help Bridge Divides: Lessons from SXSW 2021

Helping Audiences Find Common Ground

October 9, 2020

Political divides are pushing coworkers, friends, and families apart. Newsrooms can help people find common ground by sharing these strategies for approaching difficult discussions. Read More
Helping Audiences Find Common Ground

How Newsrooms Can Help Unite a Divided America

February 7, 2019

Bringing opposing groups together is a challenge, but it’s an important task the media needs to take on. Read More
How Newsrooms Can Help Unite a Divided America

SXSW Panel

Our country is faced with a multitude of divides – political, social, geographic, and economical. Bridging these divides is a long and difficult undertaking, but newsrooms can play a critical role in the process. In a panel presented at SXSW 2021, the Center for Media Engagement convened a group of experts to help newsrooms better understand their communities and humanize those with diverse views by using the principles of connective democracy. The discussion focused on answering three questions:

  1. How can newsrooms approach a coverage plan that focuses on what people share in common and presents diverse viewpoints?
  2. How can newsrooms frame stories in ways that offer people the news they need?
  3. How can newsrooms use social media to connect people to their newsroom and their community?

Panelists:

Gina M. Masullo, Associate Director, Center for Media Engagement
Erica Anderson, Engagement Journalist and Moderator, Spaceship Media
Alicia Bell, Organizing Manager, Free Press

Research

How to Connect with Disinvested Local News Audienc...

July 7, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement partnered with the Dallas Free Press to explore how Dallas residents perceive local media and how they think that media can better serve their communities.…
How to Connect with Disinvested Local News Audiences
contentious issues

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Con...

May 20, 2021

We asked adults about a range of hot-button issues to find out how much the American public knows about contentious political issues. Read More
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Contentious Issues

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Fac...

March 3, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement asked American adults to answer questions about how platforms like Facebook and Google operate. The answers we received revealed important gaps in what the American…
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Facebook and Google

News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable P...

November 18, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement asked Black Americans how news organizations can better cover their communities to help bridge the divide between them and the media. Read More
News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable Problem

Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge ...

September 17, 2020

Being able to form relationships with people you disagree with or viewing them with compassion is not easy. In this study, the Center for Media Engagement wanted to find out…
Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge Political Divides

Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help

August 30, 2020

As politics continue to push Americans further apart, it can be difficult to find common ground. The Center for Media Engagement wanted to see what habits are common in people…
Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help
MORE RESEARCH