I want to contribute to a renewal in 2019 at the intersection of three of our society’s most crucial questions: How can we reduce the polarization in our culture in order to solve urgent policy problems? How can we reinvigorate inclusive, civil and well-informed conversations in the public arena about the things people care about most? Are there changes in journalism–and in the generation and consumption of news–that could help achieve the first two goals, building on faith-based values and professional standards?
Here are a few things I’m doing:
- Seeking out more media interviews and public presentations to help guide discussions about this renewal. I was privileged to be interviewed by Teresa Tomeo on her “Catholic Connections” daily radio program on Feb. 4, 2019 archive: You’ll find our 15-minute discussion starting at about the 17:00 mark of her second hour. We discussed the growth in negative trends like jumping to conclusions, weaponizing facts and interpretations, and pointing fingers rather than seeking truth.
- I’m compiling a growing list of resources for people to use in research and collaborations aimed at answering the questions above. Here’s the first iteration of the list, published at my LInkedIn page.
- As a subset of my content at this OnWord.net site, I’m compiling the commentaries related to my When Headlines Hurt: Do We Have a Prayer book and the polarization-related questions in the “When Headlines Hurt” blog (“me-dia.blog”). You’ll get a good idea of my opinions and writing–and what I can bring to media interviews and public speaking engagements. Contact Bill Schmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 574-276-0340.