People are getting tired of how the media polarizes society.
One of our goals here on Homeland is to discover how best to offer you a space where you and others can feel safe enough to have a real conversation about Immigration. It is such an emotional issue that in most other media, all we see is argument based on fixed emotional positions and that is on a good day. Often all we see is people yelling at each other.
Is there a better way? Is there a way that media can help us all see through our emotions and find a pathway to solutions that help?
We certainly hope so and this site and our work here is our first step in this voyage of discovery. But do we know how to do this? We have some good ideas. I think that we have made a good start. But you know too, that trying to change your own self is the hardest thing of all.
So we have reached out to three of the best thinkers on how media works. We asked them in the context of this project on Immigration
- Why is the media not helping us know more about our issues and know more about how to solve them?
- What would be a better way?
- What advice do they have for us at KETC?
In this post I will introduce you to them and give you some context for their advice. I will follow up with 3 posts that each contain each person’s full answers.
Euan Semple started life in the BBC World Service. He was instrumental in awakening the BBC to the potential of the web and to how social media works. Part of his own learning in that work was how to use influence rather than power for he was not the CEO but a quite junior person. Since leaving the BBC, Euan has become one of the “Go To” people that large organizations seek out. These kinds of organizations, such as the World Bank, Nato and Nokia, often have the greatest challenge in changing their culture to use social media well. Euan understands this aspect of the challenge so well.
Here is a short blog post from Euan that I think will give you a sense of the person he is: “Many moons ago, in the early days of blogging David Weinberger described it as “writing ourselves into existence”. I was reminded recently of just how transformative blogging has been in my life. How much more aware I am of my thoughts and feelings – and of the world around me. Once you have a blog you notice more, you start to think “I might write about this on my blog” “What do I want to say?” “What will people’s reaction be?”. Over time you get better at noticing and the better at noticing you get the more noticed you get! You end up in the wonderful collective web of “Oooh that’s interesting” which I now wouldn’t ever want to be without.”
Euan will bring the human and cultural aspects to the fore in his interview: starting with the great challenge for all organizations that “Conversations can only take place between individuals”
Doc Searls day job is Senior Editor of The Linux Journal, he is also a Fellow of the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He is a long standing fan and technical insider of public broadcasting. But for many of us who are interested in how social media might improve our lives, he is one of the 4 authors of arguably the most influential book on that all of this means – The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Here is how the Cluetrain Manifesto opens and this quote provides a context for Doc’s answers in the interview. “A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies. These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked. Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do.
Jay Rosen is a Professor of Journalism at the NYU Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of one of the most read blogs on Journalism Press Think. At the heart of his work are his insights into the cultural issues at stake when the “One to Many Media” is confronted by the “Many to Many” alternative. Traditionalists who hope that the web and all it stands for would go away, see him as a heretic. Those who seek to find the new path, see him as a beacon of light.
I interviewed Euan, Doc and Jay separately for KETC last week. We need help and they kindly stepped up.
What is wrong with media today? What is a better way? What can we do?
Our goal? To find a way of talking about a topic like Immigration, that drives so much emotion, so that we can find a path that will help most people.
How to break the deadlock that seems to have gripped America on most issues that confront us.
What a gift they have given us.
Tomorrow Euan, Friday Doc - Monday Jay.
I hope you find them as stimulating as I have.