Creating a culture of listening: Using dialogue to bridge divides
The American Press Institute is holding a daylong convening to explore different opportunities and challenges to pursuing journalism through listening and dialogue. Hosted in partnership with The Tennessean.
At a time of eroding trust in news organizations and increasing polarization in politics, part of the solution is for newsrooms to use listening and dialogue to form deeper connections, understanding and trust across communities.
There are many ways newsrooms can connect. Journalists can create spaces for discussion online, convene groups of people in person or just meet people at places they already gather. These encounters can build trust between journalists and audiences through mutual understanding, relationship building and productive discourse. This form of engagement goes deeper and farther than conventional newsroom methods of engaging existing audiences through news stories. It can reach overlooked communities — diverse in ethnicity, ideology, class and other dimensions — and draw them into the fold while also expanding the inclusivity of the journalists’ reporting.
The American Press Institute will convene a group of community-minded journalists to learn from each other and brainstorm ways to make dialogue across communities and divides a more prominent practice within journalism. Some of the topics we’d like to explore include: how to create an organizational culture of listening, effective strategies for facilitating dialogue among divided community groups and listening as a tool for trust-building and sustainability.
Along the way, we will provide ample time for participants to meet colleagues in this growing field. The agenda will also be informed through participant feedback ahead of the event, helping to ensure the conversations are useful and insightful.
Following this summit, we will create and distribute a public whitepaper and toolset capturing ideas, best practices and recommendations for dialogue-focused journalism that could help enrich the field and inspire more newsrooms.
This gathering is hosted in partnership with The Tennessean and is the first of API’s 2018 Thought Leader Summits. Unlike a typical conference, API’s summits are highly participatory and include only a limited number of invitees. The events treat each attendee as an active participant, sharing his or her expertise and experiences while gaining actionable insights from others.