Whatever your political persuasions, I’m guessing that we could all agree that it’s really hard now—maybe even harder than, say, ten or twenty years ago—to have frank, fruitful, debates about politics with others from the opposite side of the spectrum. It seems so easy these days for political conversations to devolve into partisan bickering, quickly turning incendiary, with others on the opposite side of the aisle citing information whose veracity one may question. It occurred to me, however, that the seemingly objective information that I may bring up to bolster my argument could be similarly dismissed, labeled as unreliable from a source whose biases are obvious.

That got me thinking about whether a democracy truly can function effectively when we’re not all consulting the same script. That is, can we walk down the same path together as a nation puzzling through problems and collaborating if we’re not digesting roughly the same information to help inform our public decisions?

Join us on Medium to read the full article where I share some ideas garnered through work in the data storytelling space for using data to address critical issues facing our democracy right now.


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