JOURNALISM: What journalism can teach tech about agonism & empathy

International Journalism Festival) – When Facebook says it is creating a better world, they say they are doing it by making the world “less divided” and “bringing the world closer together”. But journalism creates a better world, and this isn’t how it does it. Two important levers of journalism have been 1) its agonism: institutionalized skepticism, working to challenge the powers that be, and 2) its empathy: helping one person understand another across class, gender, nationality, or other differences. Neither of these strategies seeks an artificial harmony or consensus, but rather they acknowledge and value differences. We argue that future technologies of news and information need to incorporate these values. How can an “arena” approach that acknowledges difference and conflict replace the current happy clappy “platform” ambition, or an impossible “neutral” point of view?

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