Daily Resource Highlight - 04/25/2022

Posted by on April 28, 2022 at 2:47 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

April 19, 2022 - Dive Headfirst into NWOC with Urban Rural Action

The Fifth Annual National Week of Conversation (NWOC) led by Listen First Project is next week! As we prepare for this incredible national event, we have a small favor to ask of you. The Bridge Alliance Education Fund (BAEF) has worked tirelessly to build infrastructure for our movement. A great example of this is Citizen Connect, which is the official platform for NWOC. If you appreciate our work, please let us know with a Supporter Impact Statement. The survey only takes a minute, and it will help us make our case to funders.

Seeing the tremendous progress we’ve made reminds me of the first NWOC, which kicked off in Charlottesville, VA. It was a magical experience, with leaders from such diverse communities as BLM and the Tea Party coming together to find common ground. This year’s NWOC looks vastly different, with over 100 events to choose from. The goal, though, remains the same – bridging divides and connecting with your fellow Americans. 

As partisans try their best to divide us, organizations like Urban Rural Action stubbornly refuse to comply; instead hosting Dialogues Across Difference on April 27th @ 2 PM ET. Participants at this event will explore different views on issues such as democracy, criminal justice, and the economy. 

Can’t make that event? Not to worry, as there will be no shortage of opportunities to connect next week. And who knows, maybe the gathering you attend will be the next incredible success story, like Braver Angels’ Central Texas Alliance, which grew from 11 in 2018 to 1,500+ today.

April 21, 2022 - Our Media is the Worst…Except for all the other media

Last week I quoted Winston Churchill saying democracy is the worst form of government…except for all the other forms of government. I feel like a similar sentiment could be applied to our media. 

It’s easy to blame “the mainstream media” (MSM) for our nation’s ills, but it also feels lazy at times. After all, it’s not the MSM that is causing misinformation and disinformation to go viral on social media. And as AllSides points out, social media is distorting our realities in powerful, destructive ways, including by pushing MSM itself to be more polarizing (see The Anti-Journalism Distortion). As Americans, we need to push back against this dynamic and get better at identifying Fake News; especially when the Fake News supports our viewpoints.

On the other hand, the MSM is far from blameless. As with our democratic institutions, we can and should demand better. That’s why, on Sunday at 8 PM ET, Common Ground Committee is hosting a panel led by Chris Wallace, Jacqueline Adams, and Jonathan Karl to discuss how the media can decrease polarization in America. In other words, it’s not enough for MSM to merely refuse to fan the flames – we deserve media that makes our country better. The CGC panel will explore how that can happen.

As you get ready to watch that discussion (sign up for it now!), think about what steps we could take to go in the right direction. For instance, should the FCC reinstate the Fairness Doctrine? The answer to that question isn’t an obvious “yes,” and Divided We Fall’s article challenges us as readers to think critically about the Doctrine and what it represents.

All in all, our nation needs a free media to function as a democratic republic. That doesn’t mean MSM is doing its job well, but simply criticizing it for our problems isn’t enough. We need to think carefully about how it can do better, and ask ourselves what we can do better, which includes keeping our eyes out for Fake News and calling it out when we see it.