This essay by and is a masterpiece; essential analysis for all interested in journalism, mediation, polarization. How to use behav sci to work with people and tell stories that open minds, rather than reinforce certainty.
This is, quite simply, one of the most important pieces for journalists to read that I have seen in a long, long time.
How can journalism combat polarization & "alternative facts"? Respecting complexity helps (dumbing down & simplifying, a journalistic reflex, is part of the problem).
Several people I follow said this is one of the best things they’ve read about how journalists can better approach our work. I read it and wholeheartedly agree. It’s fantastic, and offers essential advice and insight for this polarized moment in history
Journalists routinely focus on conflict. But they know almost nothing about it. That has to stop. This is some of the most important journalism research I have read in years.
When you find evidence that doesn't fit your narrative, include it anyway. Acknowledging complexity doesn't make you less convincing— it makes you more credible. And it makes the other side more curious and open.
This is without any doubt the most insightful and useful piece I've read about our fractured politics, the failures of journalism in how to cope with it, and what to do differently.
"Complicate the narrative" one of many pieces of advice from this phenomenal piece by . It should be mandatory reading for every journalist. And humbled to see it articulate so well so much of what team has been trying to do
“I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and undervalued pride, fear and the need to belong.” Why journalists need to tell stories differently to break through in a polarized age
This is one of the best pieces I have read recently. And really helpful for those of us who are trying to bridge divides... Highly recommend. “Complicating the Narratives” by
Must read for every journalist who wants to do better in an age of simplicity and polarization: add complexity to your narratives.
Anyone involved in a pro/con debate at a conference (or on Twitter...) should read this first. #MedEd
"Could the secret to healing a riven politics lie in a Difficult Conversations Laboratory?" asks for . Find the full report and six takeaways for journalists here: #TheWholeStory
Fascinating! This looks at narratives in journalism but so applicable across all areas of comms...
Polarization worries me far more than any single political issue. Here’s how journalists — and all the rest of us — can make conflicts better, not worse: tell a more complicated narrative. Becuase the truth is rarely simple.
This is an incredibly valuable tool for journalists right now. I’ve covered war and conflict throughout my career, but this explains conflict reporting much closer to home, especially in today’s tribalized political climate. Well worth the long read.
AAAAAYY-men!!! to this point by Everything in political journalism right now pushes toward simplicity. “Red state” /“blue state”? “Trump voter” /“Trump critic” etc. Flattens reality; misses what’s interesting and signif; makes conflict worse
Here’s a long, important, at times hard-to-accept piece about how journalists could break through tribalism and do better work ht
Every journalist should read this, it’s really fascinating and good
Finally sat down to read this piece. Pleased to find it includes research on the power of graphics to open the political mind
This is a long & compelling story about how journalism can change to help the country be less divisive. My hope is that news rooms (including mine) are willing to take the time required to help Americans really hear each other.
What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious?" has six strategies for #ComplicatingTheNarratives. #TheWholeStory
Interesting article on how to talk about topics on which we disagree: Audience is journalists, but good framing for the rest of us. Easy step one: avoid the breaking news and hot takes in favor of the broader view that makes us smarter.
"As politicians have become more polarized, we have increasingly allowed ourselves to be used by demagogues on both sides of the aisle." How can journalists do better? has 6 strategies. #TheWholeStory
Graphic displays of a more negative conversation (left) and a more positive, complex one (right).
Want to know how to bridge divides across difference? Check out this incredible piece from and —Complicating the Narratives. #MondayMotivation
This is important: We need more complexity and nuance in journalism.
What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized & suspicious?
"The idea is to revive complexity in a time of false simplicity" TL;DR: Steps to more productive political discussions [my simple takeaways] #politics #journalism #bias #media 😉:
Listening is better than reading. Let's just admit it. My Complicating the Narrative story is now out in audio form, thanks to the great & What if journalists covered controversy differently — based on how humans actually behave?
"Usually, reporters (do not engage nuance)...We look for coherence, which is tidy — and natural. The problem is that, in a time of high conflict, coherence is bad journalism, bordering on malpractice."
Journalists think of themselves as objective seekers of truth. But the truth is often complicated, and getting to it is not always a straight-line path. #knightcomm
Communities grow fastest by shared love or shared hate. We’ve been relying on these immediate emotions for distribution. What happens when we don’t have to anymore?
Exciting news in audio — or — Exciting audio about news: the "podcast" version of 's "Complicating the Narratives" article I produced is live. Not a "podcast" since it's a stand alone piece, but worth putting in your feed.
Complexity, not simplicity, is what could help us out of this mess.
Powerful piece on how journos can combat 'intractable conflict' by inviting complexity into storytelling. We have a similar issue in tech. We tell simplified, overly pos/neg narratives about its role, making us less open/creative/capable. h/t
"Economists have gradually adjusted their models to account for these systematic human quirks. Journalism has yet to undergo this awakening. … The idea is to revive complexity in a time of false simplicity."
'We cut the quotes that don’t fit our narrative. Or our editor cuts them... We look for coherence, which is tidy — and natural,' says . 'The problem is that, in a time of high conflict, coherence is bad journalism, bordering on malpractice.'
Great article on how to communicate across divides
Well worth the read
Addressing intractable conflicts through complicating narratives rather than simplifying them: nuance, contradiction & ambiguity as features, not bugs via
Relevant not just for journalism - rather, a reminder that most issues are on a scale rather than black and white.
RT "Great article on how to communicate across divides …"
About to sign off to start cooking, but the last of my NYE big think pieces is this fabulous Medium post from on the vital importance of "reviving complexity in an age of (false) simplicity." It's essential reading for 2019.
How to avoid Us vs Them in politics? Bring in complexity. A fantastic piece by . Worth a read.
"If we want to learn the truth, we have to find new ways to listen." If you are a journalist, this is probably the most important thing you could read right now. Read it. Listen. Do better. We need you.
What conflict resolution teaches us about how to do better journalism. "Complicate the narratives." A must-read.
. on intractable conflicts, complicated narratives, and presentations thereof: . Reminds me of this interview, particularly page 12: .
The Must-Read piece by on this topic is this one, from last year: Complicating the Narratives
This article is for reporters but it also relates to the core of our online media literacy work, which is showing students how to take things that have complexity and context stripped out of them and add it back in
It’s Complicated. Fascinating article on finding better ways to discuss polarized issues #SciComm
This piece on having better conversations is very long, but comes with a lot of concrete examples and advice, so it's worth the effort
I'd be curious what you think of some of the thought leadership happening in journalism atm : . The humans are increasingly irrational, and I don't know that anyone knows what to do about that...
"Humans need to be heard before they will listen." This essay was recommended to me by the brilliant/wise social psychologist . It's very much worth your time. All of us, regardless of the tribes we live in, can learn from it.
“Complicating the Narratives” An important read by
👍🗝💬“The idea is to revive complexity in a time of false simplicity…reporters do the opposite…we look for coherence, which is tidy — and natural. The problem is that, in a time of high conflict, coherence is bad journalism, bordering on malpractice.”
I've been trying like hell to do what talks about in this excellent piece, for exactly the reason she cites, but I have no friggin clue whether it works.
👍🗝💬“What is oversimplified about this issue? How has this conflict affected your life? What do you think the other side wants? What’s the question nobody is asking? What do you…need to learn about the other side in order to understand them better?”
'There are many things that journalists cannot do. But we can destabilize the narrative. We can remind people that life is not as coherent as we’d like. Otherwise, the spiral to simplicity is all but certain'
Fascinating abt journalism & relevant to all. Worth reading. TY “Complicating the Narratives” by
👍🗝💬“I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and undervalued pride, fear and the need to belong. I’ve been operating like an economist, in other words — an economist from the 1960s.”
The first such essay was on "complicating the narratives" in journalism
“Complicating the Narratives” about how journalism needs to get better at bringing us together by
“The lesson for journalists (or anyone) working amidst intractable conflict: complicate the narrative. . . When people encounter complexity, they become more curious & less closed off to new information. They listen, in other words.”
Complicating the Narratives. Excellent long read from on the need to rethink journalism
What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious? via
Thoughtful take from about giving journalism real value amid polarization and distrust: "Revive complexity in a time of false simplicity." (Mencken would approve.)
Complicating the Narratives – The Whole Story
Does #journalism need an awakening akin to the one economists have gone through with #BehavioralEconomics? "The idea is to revive complexity in a time of false simplicity" #longreads
“In a time of high conflict, coherence is bad journalism, bordering on malpractice.”
Complicating the Narratives – The Whole Story
Goes for journalists too. Tools and methods. I encourage folks eager to avoid #narrativecapture to read 's amazing report on the merits of embracing complexity
A complicated piece on complicating the narrative. Worth the whole read.
On dialogue in polarised discourses: "As politicians have become more polarized, we have increasingly allowed ourselves to be used by demagogues on both sides of the aisle, amplifying their insults instead of exposing their motivations."
This is brilliant - may many talk show hosts and journalists read it and act on it - thanks
This is the best article I’ve read this year, from
"Revive complexity in a time of false simplicity". offers a powerful argument to her fellpw journalists in favor of complexity. And as a professor, I take away great lessons for the classroom as well. Great read.
Complicating the Narratives What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious?