The Lost Art of Civil Discourse

With Clea Conner - CEO of Open to Debate

Episode description:

Any institution that aspires to get at the truth needs a process for testing what it believes to be true. Central to the judicial system, for example, are lawyers challenging their opponents’ arguments. In science, claims must be peer-reviewed, and experiments have to be replicated. But in politics and culture, any kind of rule-based, civil testing of facts is a fading art. Debates are hostile, ideologies harden, and we kick up a lot of dust, in which the pursuit of truth gets lost.

But there is one place where you can test your beliefs by witnessing civil discussion of the most controversial issues of our time. It’s a program on radio and podcast called Open to Debate, and today we’re pleased to introduce its CEO, Clea Conner.

Clea is a veteran of public policy programming on TV, radio and podcasting and holds more than two dozen awards for excellence in such programming. She is also a classically trained flutist.

We won’t get into that today, but we will discuss how Open to Debate chooses topics for discussion, how they keep debates respectful and on topic, the salience of facturality, what it takes to change someone’s mind—including your own–and how the rest of us can keep political disagreement around the dining room table respectful and productive.

Alliance for Trust in Media

Produced by Sound Sapien

Created & produced by: Podcast Partners / Published: Jun 7 2024

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