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SXSW 2021

How Newsrooms Can Help Bridge Divides

Our society is witnessing an entrenchment of divisiveness – the media versus the public, Democrats versus Republicans, urban versus rural – that is so deep it even influences whether people wear masks during a global pandemic. A new approach, called connective democracy, seeks to bridge these divides by identifying strategies for getting people to talk across differences. Newsrooms can play a transformative role in this effort.
This panel will offer clear takeaways for newsroom leaders and journalists about how they can use the principles of connective democracy to better connect with and retain an audience. Connective democracy offers a roadmap to help newsrooms better understand their communities and humanize those with diverse views to help people appreciate other perspectives.

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  1. How to approach a coverage plan that focuses on what people share in common and presents diverse viewpoints in ways that help people empathize
  2. How to frame stories to offer news people need, rather than emphasize political infighting, and to write headlines that focus on solutions to problems
  3. How to use social media to connect people to your newsroom and community, rather than to amplify divisions



Katalina Deaven, Communications Coordinator, Center for Media Engagement

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Media & Journalism
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Connection in Disconnection
  • Level: Advanced
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