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Can the media help solve polarization, rather than cause it? Two journalists weigh in.
The United States has one of the highest news avoidance rates in the world. Tens of millions of Americans don’t read, watch or listen to the news each day, and the media is generally held in low regard. So, is there a better way to report and analyze current events that will satisfy readers’ interests?
In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we hear from Mark Sappenfield, Editor of The Christian Science Monitor, and Story Hinckley, the National Political Correspondent. We’re releasing this podcast less than two weeks before the midterm elections — a time when many news outlets have amped up their coverage, speculated about winners and losers, and put additional emphasis on the nation’s deep partisan divides.
We discuss evolving news values with the Monitor and how reporters and editors are striving to highlight constructive solutions that unite rather than divide. We also hear about election coverage and why the media need to challenge readers, build trust, and report the news truthfully.
Mark Sappenfield is the Editor for The Christian Science Monitor. He joined the Monitor in 1996 and has since written from Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pentagon, and India. In addition to reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan during his time in South Asia, Mark has also written on issues of sports and science. He has covered seven Olympic Games and attended events at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including the landing of the Mars rover Opportunity. After returning to Boston in 2009, Mark served as both deputy national news editor and national news editor.
Story Hinckley is a Washington-based National Political Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Political Science and Environmental Thought and Practice, and a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University.