The Better Conflict Year-In-Review
Top 5 BCB Issues of 2022
Happy New Year! For this, we’ve hand-selected the 5 most interesting issues since we started this summer – these are the ones you wouldn’t want to miss.
#5 - Journalism’s Role in Better Conflict
Red accuses the “mainstream” media of having a liberal bias, Blue thinks Red are extremists, and journalists must walk a fine line. No matter how carefully and neutrally reported, polarization ensures that both sides perceive the media as hostile to them. This issue curates key articles to begin answering the question: how can journalists navigate incendiary topics without fanning flames on either side?
#4 - Moderates won the midterms
Many folks worried that extreme candidates would sweep the midterms, but this was not the case. The election results showed that moderate candidates on both sides won over the more extreme ones, perhaps signaling healthier future conflicts ahead. Plus: a study on how news headlines have become more negative over time.
#3 - A Better Cancel Culture
While we have always used shaming and shunning to enforce norms, we now have permanent online public records of our behavior, and the technology to recruit masses of anonymous strangers. Canceling is a blunt instrument of justice, and can be devastating for regular people. It’s also more damaging to one’s ingroup because the outgroup already hates you, and – as we documented carefully – it has been tearing apart political movements from the inside for decades.
#2 - Transformers Podcast: Amanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley is the New York Times best-selling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, and a pioneer mapping the path for journalism with integrity in conflicted times. She’s well known for her brilliant article Complicating the Narratives, about the power of looking past the simplistic stories. This is something we always try to do at the Bulletin!
#1 - Violence and Non-Violence
Political violence is almost never justified, especially because it archives its aims less often than non-violent means, so we rightfully categorize it as “bad conflict.” There is a rich tradition of non-violent conflict – which is not the same thing as “pacifism” – that is often overlooked and misunderstood. As we said at the time, “if that phrase [non-violent conflict] sounds self-contradictory, perhaps that is only because our war-weary imaginations are impoverished.”
A big thank you to all our readers for supporting our journey so far. We wish all you all a wonderful new year ahead, filled with healthy, enriching, and transformative conflict!