I’m looking for a professional writer to produce a weekly newsletter for those who care about making the U.S. political conflict less violent and more productive. The ideal candidate is someone who is both fascinated and horrified by the polarization of American politics. You’re already reading widely across the political spectrum, suspicious of ideology and tribalism, nerdy about conflict dynamics, and more into the idea of learning to live together than winning.
This is a new publication which will offer news and informed perspectives on the U.S. civil conflict. Topics will include polarization, the culture war, disinformation, institutional trust, censorship, algorithms, extremism, protest movements, and so on. We are writing for professionals whose work touches this conflict in some way including mediators, technologists, researchers, policy-makers and journalists. Conflict is an essential part of how society changes, so we’re not trying to end or “resolve” it. Rather, we’re trying to have better conflict — a good fight. Our orientation is practical, as we are always asking the question: what can I, as a professional whose work is touched by this conflict, do differently to make things better?
The Better Conflict Bulletin will be in newsletter form and include:
- A weekly roundup of the best news, essays, and research in this space. This will be your main task.
- Interviews with people working on conflict-related problems.
- Original articles that summarize important trends or research.
We might discuss content like:
- Complicate The Narrative by Amanda Ripley, the best advice I know for how do to journalism on polarized topics
- Braver Angels and Living Room Conversations, two organizations scaling small in-person mediated gatherings
- Chloe Valdary, who does a different type of anti-racism training
- To Reason with a Madman by Charles Eisenstein , an essay on the informational consequences of conflict
- ACLED US crisis monitor, for reliable data on US civic violence
- Designing Recommenders to Depolarize, a research paper
The newsletter will be edited by Jonathan Stray, a former AP journalist who researchers media algorithms and their effects on conflict at UC Berkeley. Thoughtful people from across the political spectrum are encouraged to apply. We are starting with a one year grant from the Mercatus center at George Mason University to provide a valuable service to the rapidly growing bridge-building community.