What if we developed news media that were a laboratory for negotiation and dialogue?

If you want more publicity today—in newspapers, on television talks shows, or on the radio—be sensational. Offend people. Talk fast. Spin the facts for maximum impact. Raise your voice. Interrupt other speakers. Dominate the conversation. Consume all the airtime. Exaggerate.  Stamp a label (“liberal” or “conservative,” “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” etc.) on your forehead. Once you have a label, it is easier for the producers of the program to plug you into their pro-and-con lineup.

Unfortunately, this is the way it works in the popular media in many cultures today. Verbal brawling is on the rise; debate is getting dirtier; and there is little room for anything else. Continue reading