Spaceship Media helps lead the way in dialogue across divides

Spaceship Media collaborated with Advance Local, TIME, the Newseum and Essential Partners to lead a national conversation about guns in America. The project started at the Newseum in Washington DC with an in-person conversation for 21 people from around the United States facilitated by Parisa Parsa and John Sarrouf of Essential Partners and continued online for a month in a moderated Facebook group. You can explore the project on Oregon Live, one of 10 Advance Local news properties that published content from Guns, an American Conversation. Learn about one moderator’s experience with the group here and another reporter’s experience with the project here.
Enrique Lavin from Advance Local and Spaceship Media co-founder Eve Pearlman will also be answering questions in real time about Guns on Reddit on Tuesday, July 17 at 3 P.M EST.

Stories of The Many

The Many: A Conversation Across Divides, is a conversation for women from around the country and of all political identities, from very left and very right to everything in between. Spaceship Media reporters, Alyxaundria Sanford and Kristine Villanueva wrote this story about Many member Amber Tolbert, who is directly engaging the challenges of class and race in her community. Also check out this story in about women in Alabama who feel left out of the #metoo movement.

What the Spaceship Team is Learning from The Many

In response to a Columbia Journalism Review piece about the engagement journalism movement’s difficulty in measuring success, Kristine Villanueva, Spaceship’s resident metrics expert, offered some insight into how she evaluates the impact of Spaceship’s work. “Engagement metrics are hard to measure,” she writes. “But maybe that’s a good thing.”

Spaceship moderator Trey Poché authored a post about what we at Spaceship have come to call “squishy” topics — those that seem to invite a thoughtful, open sort of engagement. “When we are willing to put our world view and assumptions under the microscope for the community to trustingly receive and lend feedback,” Poché wrote, “we are able to check our own assumptions, build trust, and learn about a person’s depth before commenting. This helps achieve civility.”

Spaceship in the News

Spaceship’s work was is featured in this terrific, thoughtful article by Amanda Ripley for Solutions Journalism Network about covering controversial stories differently. “Conflict is important. It’s what moves a democracy forward,” co-founder Jeremy Hay said in the story. Spaceship Media was also featured in Hearken CEO Jennifer Brandel’s piece about how listening is a form of healing. Spaceship Media, says Brandel, “helps newsrooms connect people to one another and creates space for deep transformative listening and dialogue.”

This Mic article by Molly Bloom called attention to The Many with this headline: “A Facebook group where liberal and conservative women actually listen to each other.” Bloom wrote: “The group isn’t out to win converts for any position or party, but for many of the women, participating has changed how they think and talk about politics and social issues. It’s changed the kind of conversations they have at home and at work.” One member, Brittany Walker Pettigrew, was quoted as saying The Many’s conversations point to one route toward common ground. “We can’t move forward in any way if I just assume you’re an idiot and you’re wrong about everything,” she said. More than 60 women responded to the article by asking to join The Many.

Spaceship’s co-founders Eve Pearlman and Jeremy Hay were guests on the Critical Thinking podcast. They spoke about dialogue journalism, its relationship to academic training, its role in reducing polarization and ability to bring people together. Listen here.

Where We've Been

Co-founder Eve Pearlman, presented at the Latino Media Summit at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. She along with CUNY alumna and Spaceship reporter/moderator Alyxaundria Sanford hosted a workshop to help newsrooms create productive dialogue to bridge divides.

Eve was also at the Aspen Ideas Festival with Deepti Doshi and Lisa Conn of Facebook, discussing their shared vision of building communities and bridging divides through productive dialogue. You can see the Facebook Live session on our page.

A Meal in The City

Spaceship Project Manager Adriana García had lunch with members of her digital team, Kristine Villanueva and Alyxaundria Sanford, at Midtown restaurant Print. in New York recently. Slowly but surely, the Spaceship Media remote team is meeting face to face.

Fly safe!

The Spaceship team

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