I am part of a proposed panel for the 2013 South by Southwest entitled “How Partisan Media Contributes to Healthy Politics.” Here’s the description:
The rise of new media, from Facebook and Twitter to The Huffington Post and The Daily Caller, has allowed consumers of news to ignore anything that challenges their prior beliefs. Purveyors of news and information now wear their political stripes openly. Conventional wisdom assumes that this increased partisanship, in both media and politics, is an unmitigated ill. But is partisanship really so bad? Research in psychology and political science suggests that this tug-of-war between opposing sides could be beneficial in some ways. When ideas are challenged – who better to question your position than your partisan opponent? – better ones emerge. And while technology has enabled the rise of divisive media and the formation of closed thought bubbles, it could be harnessed to facilitate greater deliberation. This panel, featuring a political scientist and two journalists with extensive experience covering politics, will discuss the ways partisan media can contribute to healthy politics.
I certainly don’t believe that partisan media are always good for politics, but I think it would be interesting to explore the upsides of partisanship—a concept that is too often maligned. The panel, organized by Alexander Hudson and Nick Naroditski of Partisans, also include Christina Bellantoni of the PBS NewsHour and James Kirchick, formerly of The New Republic and now a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
In order for the panel to be accepted, it needs your vote. You can do so here. It is also helpful if you leave a comment saying why you think this panel would be teh awesome. SXSW does require you to register with a name and email address, but it’s pretty painless.
Thanks, and please vote!