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.
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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:
- How can newsrooms approach a coverage plan that focuses on what people share in common and presents diverse viewpoints?
- How can newsrooms frame stories in ways that offer people the news they need?
- How can newsrooms use social media to connect people to their newsroom and their community?
Gina M. Masullo, Associate Director, Center for Media Engagement
Erica Anderson, Engagement Journalist and Moderator, Spaceship Media
Alicia Bell, Organizing Manager, Free Press
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