, 29 tweets, 17 min read Read on Twitter
Been looking forward to tonight’s #cjfjtalk at the NAC.
@CPAC_TV’s @AlisonSmith___ asks about political polarization & anger.

@TondaMacC points out it’s tough to separate today’s political climate from technological change & resulting impacts on business models & how journalists do their jobs #cjfjtalk
Anger can be productive, says @sarahkendzior. (We can be angry on someone’s behalf, want justice, etc.)

But it’s important that we find common ground based on truth and not “alternative facts”.
@AlisonSmith___ asks if journalists should focus more on facts and less on analysis. @TondaMacC says no, context is important, just needs to be clearly grounded in facts #cjfjtalks
@sarahkendzior says “the exhausted majority” (term that keeps coming up) is hungry for facts and information, and for “relief from bullshit”. #cjfjtalk
Agencies that used to post data online don’t do that anymore ... there’s a culture of fear ... fewer press conferences & more tweets, points out @sarahkendzior.

She also studied authoritarian states & says what’s going on in the US today feels vaguely familiar. #cjfjtalk
Some good points about how “truth” is subjective, not synonymous with facts.

Different people can look at the same facts and draw different conclusions about what they mean, and they’ll feel that their perspective is true. #cjfjtalk
“If you want to go into journalism and be active on social media, you need a thick skin,” says @sarahkendzior, which results in some ppl (esp women & POC) being less likely to participate, which she refers to as “a dissolution of the public sphere”. #cjfjtalk
“I hate it with a passion,” @VassyKapelos says of social media.

There is a way to point out faults in a classy, human way. Most people do not. (Trolls are the worst)

“Most of the tweets I get are not things I’d respond to in real life.” #cjfjtalk
“There are things that could’ve and should’ve been done in 2016,” @sarahkendzior says re: Russian bot farms and foreign influence but no one wanted to do anything

Americans like to believe in American exceptionalism, that US institutions are so strong, impervious... #cjfjtalk
”None of this would be successful if, as an institution, the press were doing its job,” @sarahkendzior says. #cjfjtalk
@AlisonSmith___ points out politicians target specific audiences & asks “do Trump supporters read the NYT?”, pointing out ppl tend to seek out news that reflects their perspective.

The challenge for journalists is to cover stories that matter to people & resonate all over the country, says @TondaMacC.

@VassyKapelos agrees & says this is a priority for her. Using explainers more seems to be appreciated by a wider audience, she says. #cjfjtalks
Right now, 1 in 4 journalists in the US lives in a handful of cities that are among the most wealthy in the country, points out @sarahkendzior.

This makes it challenging to have diverse perspectives and relate to broad audiences. #cjfjtalk
@TondaMacC mentions one news org (I missed which one, darn it) actually went into communities & asked people:

“What are the issues that you want dealt with by policy makers in this campaign?”

...then covered those issues.

(— user-centred approach to news! Love it.) #cjfjtalk
@VassyKapelos says she doesn’t understand why debate is bad or holding a partisan point of view is bad —as long as you can have a respectful discussion, that’s healthy for democracy. #cjfjtalk
“Go out and talk to people,” urges @TondaMacC. “People are the heart of every political story.” #cjfjtalk
@sarahkendzior says people have often acted differently (more cautious) with her upon learning she’s a journalist.

They seem to assume journalists have the intent to take their words and twist them — an unfortunate lack of trust.

“How we own up to our mistakes is crucial,” says @TondaMacC about keeping it real with readers. Transparency establishes trust. #cjfjtalk
@TondaMacC shouts out The Trust Project thetrustproject.org #cjfjtalk
@VassyKapelos says some guests she invites on the show feel they have other ways to reach voters, but there is an understanding among politicians in this country that part of their job is defending their ideas so as a result it’s not hard to get them on the show. #cjfjtalk
@sarahkendzior laments a lack of accountability from some politicians living in a “reality TV presidency” and says the only reality some will accept is propaganda #cjftalk
Audience Q: in the age of social media with concentration of power among a few corporations, are the panelists concerned about the influences of computation and algorithms on search results & what ppl consider as facts & information
“Algorithms are not neutral entities,” says @sarahkendzior, but getting news outside traditional news organizations can also be a positive thing.

It’s important to have a critical lens and not just blindly trust algorithms. #cjfjtalk
There’s a lot about how politics works in his town that we probably take for granted, says @VassyKapelos about the need to explain the process of lobbying to Canadians (e.g. providing context as to what’s normal vs what’s abnormal) #cjfjtalk
@temurdur asks how best to keep tabs on all the issues (not just the most popular story of the moment) in the wake of shrinking newsrooms.

Panelists agree it’s challenging but @VassyKapelos says coverage is often more diverse than ppl seem to notice.

“Political parties ought to be required to treat your personal information with privacy,” says @TondaMacC, and voters would be well-served if there were laws around this #cjfjtalk
@AlisonSmith___ remembers covering the 1st Obama elxn & having to provide an email address when attending a rally.. over time, staff would know how many rallies you covered & etc.

Don’t have to *prevent* collection of info, just protect how it’s used, says @TondaMacC #cjfjtalk
Wrapping up, @cwaddell27 notes there’s sometimes a disconnect btwn what journalists cover & what people want to know, and tonight’s conversations have been refreshing.

The UX of news is a space I am very keen to explore, FTR. If you wanna talk about this, plz holla! #cjftalk
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