Hearing “the other side”

According to to Pew’s latest study, “Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers”, “Bloggers are about as likely as the general internet population to pursue non-partisan news sources. Forty-five percent of bloggers (and 50% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that do not have a particular political point of view. Twenty-four percent of bloggers (and 18% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that challenge their political point of view. Eighteen percent of bloggers (and 22% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that share their political point of view.”.

That’s interesting since linking patterns of fellow bloggers suggest otherwise. But maybe, just maybe, folks are reading what they are not linking to.

One place to get exposed to new and different conversations and discussions is Global Voices Online. It’s a Philly Future style service that “seeks to amplify, curate and aggregate the global conversation online – with a focus on countries and communities outside the U.S. and Western Europe. We are committed to developing tools, institutions and relationships that will help all voices everywhere to be heard.”. Sounds a lot like our mission.

It’s a great service, one I wish there were more emulating, but the business model might not be there and that maybe why we see so few try.

Having the possibility to open our minds so simply, by just a few clicks, is a large part of what the web offers that excites me so much. Of course, the web can help us hear other points of view, in the end it may not change how we listen. We still need to click, even if we don’t link. The great thing is that according to Pew, we do. Let’s hope they are right.

2 thoughts on “Hearing “the other side”

  1. What people say is different from what they do.

    People won’t say “I’m narrow-minded. I prefer to read publications which tell me what I like to hear. I’m easily led, and I love being pandered-to and enjoy having my already existing beliefs validated”.

    And everybody is above-average too.

  2. It’s hard to listen to points of view you find different and threatening, and I’m afraid that for all the web’s potential to be a meeting of minds, spirits, of cultures – human nature stands in the way.

    I’m going to try and keep an eye out for services like GlobalVoices, because its there that proves maybe otherwise.

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