Communities across the globe are becoming increasingly divided across political and ideological lines. This polarization is partially related to the normalcy of getting one's news from friends and family exclusively. Here are three projects addressing this challenge:

  • Community Stories Lab's "Community Storytellers" aims to contribute to the overall health and inclusivity of the Ohio County storytelling network by strengthening links between local media and community stakeholders. It takes an assets-based approach--reimagining existing community traditions and utilizing the few remaining public spaces--to host supper and storytelling clubs and to mentor community columnists.
  • Zeit Online's "Germany Talks" aims to get Germans talking to Germans – a true dialogue involving the open exchange of opposing views and arguments. Face to face, across the country. No politicians, just you and another reader in your area.
  • Capital Public Radio’s “The View From Here: Place and Privilege” grapples with the housing affordability crisis in California’s capital by organizing “Story Circles” that bring wildly diverse residents face-to-face in intimate settings to talk about housing, hear one another and envision the way forward. It is an experiment in deep listening, radical hospitality and bridge building.

This session is a part of the Finding Common Ground initiative that aims to achieve cross-border collaboration with engagement practitioners in the media by supporting projects that get people to look up from their devices, meet people with different opinions, listen, and engage in meaningful and civil dialogue across silos and polarized positions.

Moderator: Andrew DeVigal


  • Philip Faigle, Zeit Online’s Germany Talks
  • Jesikah Maria Ross, Capital Public Radio’s Place and Privilege Story Circles
  • Andrea Wenzel, Community Stories Lab’s Community Storytellers

Organised in association with the Agora Journalism Center, the gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement, at University of Oregon’s School of Journalism & Communication. Finding Common Ground is made possible through generous grants from Robert Bosch Stiftung and News Integrity Initiative.