How project works
Today’s discussion of the media as a contributor to the polarization of the nation is part of the Beacon Journal’s America Today project.
The newspaper has joined in a larger community effort that includes the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron and community leaders to help people discuss differences of opinion in a civil manner for the purpose of solving the problems that face the country.
The focus groups discussed in today’s story were facilitated by social researcher Alice Rodgers of New Mexico, who designed the qualitative research portion of this project. Rodgers facilitated conversations in 1993 when the Beacon Journal explored race relations in the community, for which the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She also has conducted discussions about home schooling, education priorities and the reasons people don’t vote.
Groups were organized by Decision Point Marketing and Research of Canton.
The sessions were held at the Taylor Institute at the University of Akron.
Polling was conducted this summer by the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research in Akron. The poll, designed by the Bliss Institute, asked 600 randomly selected adults in the five-county Akron-Canton area their thoughts about civility and politics. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The poll and focus groups were partially funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
All Beacon Journal/Ohio.com stories about this project can be found at www.ohio.com/special-projects/civility.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The Civic Commons, an online organization that encourages respectful and informed debate of tough issues from a variety of perspectives, is hosting a discussion about civility and politics.
You can express yourself by going to the moderated discussion at http://theciviccommons.com/conversations/what-do-you-wish-the-candidates-were-actually-talking-about.