Arianna Huffington on How to Consume Media

Question: How much responsibility lies with the citizen when consuming media?

Arrianna Huffington: The citizen, the consumer, has a responsibility, and they need to be much more vigilant and alert, but at the same time, I don’t really buy this idea that the media are kind of like Pontius Pilate, you know, washing their hands of responsibility, presenting both sides of the argument and letting the viewer or the user make up their minds. I mean, of course, there are many issues when that is the case, but some of the critical issues of our time are beyond that. You know, the media have a responsibility to tell a story of what happened, and to do it when it could still matter. I mean, look at how the way the media, again, missed the big story on deregulation and the impact that deregulation would have on our economy, including the mortgage crisis, the housing crisis, millions of people losing their homes. So, I think the media need to look very closely at the way they’re failing the American people, because that’s their responsibility. That’s our responsibility, and now, with the growth of the online media, I clearly believe that we have the responsibility which you are exercising to hold the mainstream media’s feet to the fire and hold them accountable.

Recorded on: March 9, 2008

Arianna Huffington on How to Consume Media

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

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Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
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Politics & Current Affairs
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