Tools and technology to improve discourse on news sites

As modern political debate moves further into the digital sphere, the New America Foundation is exploring how journalists can better leverage various tools and practices to improve the quality of discourse online. Specifically:

  • How can we encourage thoughtful consideration of other perspectives among news consumers?
  • Can we restructure online comments sections to encourage deeper engagement?
  • Can online polls be used to encourage more understanding of different perspectives?
  • Would providing alternative feedback options besides “Like/dislike” help to encourage more open-minded responses to online articles and comments?
  • In a data-rich world how can fact-checking approaches be tweaked and how can corrections be made more effective?

We'll hear short lightning talks introducing ideas and then break into small groups to devise possible solutions before socializing over drinks.

Speakers: Tom Glaisyer, New America Foundation; Lucas Graves, Columbia University; Ashley Muddiman, University of Texas; Jason Reifler, Georgia State University; TBA speaker from a newsroom

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  • Samantha S.

    Really glad I got to fit in two H/H meetups during my summer in DC! It's always awesome to hang out with people who spend their free time discussing tech with other journos. I hope some good ideas come out of that session last night.

    July 18, 2012

  • Greg L.

    Thanks, Jim! Glad to have you.

    July 18, 2012

  • Daniel D.

    Great topic. Hope we were able to contribute to the discourse. The free decent booze was a nice touch.

    July 18, 2012

  • Yuri V.

    Greg Linch is a pretty awesome dude.

    July 18, 2012

  • Greg L.

    @Alex: There's no video, but we do have notes from the break-out groups.

    July 17, 2012

  • Greg L.

    @James: Yes, Tom will be posting notes!

    July 17, 2012

  • Alex K.

    Was not able to make it, unexpectedly. Is there a video of the event that will be posted online?? Thx.

    July 17, 2012

  • James Z.

    Sorry I can't make it tonight. But posting the notes would be great.

    July 17, 2012

  • Tom G.

    @James - And there is wireless internet access available.

    July 16, 2012

  • Greg L.

    @Will: Thanks for that link!

    @James: It's not required, but everyone is welcome to bring their laptop. We'll have a big sticky page for everyone to write/outline/draw/etc their ideas on when they present.

    July 16, 2012

  • James Z.

    Do we need to bring our laptops to
    This event? James

    July 16, 2012

  • Will Atwood M.

    I won't be able to make it, but I recommend this Long Now Foundation lecture by Clay Shirky for those interested in how ontology (tagging and categorization of topics) affects discourse:

    http://longnow.org/seminars/020...­

    The talk is broader than that, but should be interesting and sometimes amusing to anyone involved in moderating or designing comment systems.

    1 · July 16, 2012

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