Pro-energy rally at city hall on December 17, 2018. Photo: Jeremy Klaszus

Sprawlcast: The Year of Curiosity

Better political conversations in 2019.

Jeremy Klaszus

We begin 2019 by asking: how can we have better political conversations? And what role does journalism play?

With two big elections on the way in Alberta (provincial and federal), these questions are timely.

In Alberta, the year 2018 ended with simmering anger and alienation. At least, that's the sense one got from reading the news. The calls for division (Alberta separation! A firewall!) grew louder, with the most bellicose voices seeming to hold sway.

With such a setup, 2019 could easily be Alberta's year of fear.

But there is another possibility, one that American journalist and Atlantic contributor Amanda Ripley has been investigating in depth.

Ripley has been looking at how to revive complexity and curiosity in tense times—and specifically, the role journalism can play.

Her investigation for the Solutions Journalism Network, Complicating the Narrative, has sparked a lively conversation amongst journalists about how we can do our work better.

"When people encounter complexity, they become more curious and more open to new information," Ripley told The Sprawl. "So that has obvious implications for anyone working in conflict or on controversial issues."

Her discoveries aren't just for journalists, but for anyone who wants to be heard in a polarized world.

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