It feels like everywhere we look lately the public conversation is deteriorating.
We want to help fix that and we are seeking your input.
It’s another hard season for the journalism industry. Digital upstarts that were supposed to replace legacy news organizations are faltering — BuzzFeed News announced in April it is shutting down, and Vice Media Group has filed for bankruptcy. In Vancouver, continued cuts to the Vancouver Sun and the Province have left them without a physical newsroom.
News providers keep getting smaller as owners siphon all the dollars they can. There’s just way fewer people putting out good, solid information.
And that means as citizens we’re not having the thoughtful, informed discussions we need to have.
Instead, social media sites use automated algorithms to feed users echo-chamber content designed to push their emotional buttons. Their business model is to keep people on the apps to extract more advertising dollars, which usually means riling people up and pitting us against each other.
This, to us, does not bode well for our society.
We’ve been thinking a lot over here at Tyee HQ about how best to be of service in the current climate. (Well, we’re always thinking about that.)
We’ve decided to work harder — with your help — to make our pages a place for rich discussions and good faith debating conducted in a respectful way (imagine!).
And so we are asking you this. What are the conversations we as a society need to be having right now?
We’ve created a poll that lets you make suggestions. It’s right here.
We promise to act on what you tell us are the issues you most want explored. We’ll double down on The Tyee’s mission to bring powerful facts and credible arguments to bear on the challenges we all face together.
It’s what we do because we are a non-profit newsroom that is funded by readers. We exist to add to the public conversation in a constructive way — and provide compelling stories that our readers find truly helpful.
Now we want to complement that reporting with other ways to empower great conversations. More sharp interviews. Online, interactive events. More nuanced analyses from leading thinkers and folks with hard-won, first-hand knowledge.
Let’s not leave it to robot algorithms owned by billionaires to determine what fuels our imaginations.
Let’s show right here on The Tyee there’s a better way to hash out our collective future.
So, we’re asking you, dear readers. What are some topics, some sticky issues, some urgent problems, that we need to work through together? What needs some brave back-and-forth? Tell us in our very short and simple reader poll.
We’ll keep the poll open until Monday, and we’ll report back on our plan of action.
The Tyee wouldn’t exist without the support and engagement of our readers, so thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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