Ending the Disinformation Era

In an Age of Distrust, Local Media Is Our Secret Weapon

After an election, an attempted insurrection, and a transfer of power defined in part by a massive amount of disinformation, what would it take to get Americans to begin trusting their institutions—and one another—once again? The answer might lie in organizations that have been just as battered as our sense of trust in the digital age: local media.

But first, what exactly is local media these days? California Newsroom managing editor Joanne Griffith, the moderator of today’s Zócalo/Center for Social Innovation event, Can Local Media Restore Trust and Destroy Disinformation?,” opened …

Beware the Propagandist You See In the Mirror | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Beware the Propagandist You See In the Mirror

Americans Are Overwhelmed by Persuasive Messaging, Even as They Bombard Each Other

On any given day, Americans are inundated with persuasive messages, otherwise known as propaganda, from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. These messages—their positive …

Why Facebook Makes Americans Feel Politically Polarized

By Equating Political and Social Identities, the Platform Makes Our Divides Feel Unbridgeable

It’s not hard to understand why moderate opinions are absent from the ranks of cable television talking heads, satellite radio hosts, and newspaper opinion editorialists. Moderation doesn’t sell. Americans have …

Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin

Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People

Vladimir Putin has done a masterful job of sowing hatred and confusion in the West. By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy …

Forget Fake News. Social Media Is Making Democracy Less Democratic.

Hyperconnectivity Allows Demagogues to Micro-Target and Manipulate the Masses

Anxieties that new communications technologies and media formats would undermine democratic citizenship go back more than a century. In the late 19th century, critics worried about sensationalistic “yellow journalism”; a …