Sends reporters on a bus tour to learn what real Americans think
Credit where credit’s due: the HuffPost (now just HuffPost since founder Ariana Huffington parted ways) is launching a bus tour, stopping in 23 cities so their reporters (or bloggers) can find the answer to this burning question: What does it mean to be American today?
The bus tour turned mobile video studio hopes to showcase “what we share as Americans, rather than what divides us.”
A noble goal, if it’s an earnest one.
HuffPost explains further:
WHY WE ARE DOING THIS
Trust in media has bottomed out. We hope to rebuild some of that — and learn from it — by listening to the public and elevating their stories through our massive distribution network.
HOW WE ARE MAKING IT HAPPEN
We will travel the old-fashioned way — via bus — to 20-plus states to hear from some of the under-heard, diverse Americans who make up the communities that form much of our nation. And by working on the ground with community leaders, nonprofits, educational institutions, local businesses and others, we’ll make sure people know we’re there to listen.
Not on the bus tour? Don’t worry. We’ll be announcing ways to participate online in the coming weeks.
HuffPost is right about how little faith the general public has in its media, and they’ve certainly contributed to the decline of discourse.
Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost’s new Editor-in-chief told Politico:
“A lot of us are thinking about journalism and how journalism relates to people’s lives and this project was really a direct result of that, wanting to get out into the country and hear from people about the things that mattered most to them rather than us deciding from our office in the East Village what are the stories that are most important to Americans and hear what people have to say,” she said. “So much of journalism today is elites speaking to elites and I see the role of HuffPost as speaking for really everyone.”
I want to love this, I really do. Regular readers are familiar with my station as the resident “can’t we all just get along!” blogger here at LI. I routinely advocate for finding common ground rather than focusing on ideological differences, so I want to believe that under new leadership, HuffPost might actually be less focused on divisive posts a la this one:
But I’ve been here too long to be so easily convinced, though I’d love to be wrong. Journalists remembering what journalism is, why it is, and who they are supposed to protect and support would go a long way to Making America Great Again! as they say.
Earlier this year, Reuters had a similar, less showey, “oh hey, maybe we should start caring about actual Americans,” revelation. Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler sent a public memo to Reuters staff providing several do’s and dont’s. That list included the instruction to, “get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.”
Maybe, just maybe the press is starting to get it? A girl can dream, right?
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