Tuesday, January 03, 2023

How to turn Private Conversations into Public Resources through Community Consent

 “Death is the fairest thing in the world. No one’s ever gotten out of it. The earth takes everyone – the kind, the cruel, the sinners. Aside from that, there’s no fairness on earth.”

– Svetlana Alexievich
From Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

Ageism is one form of bigotry that never seems to get old

Washington Post Opinion, By Gary Abernathy: “…I realize that while I’m more fortunate than many — still able to pursue a career and enjoy a rewarding life with loving family and friends — in too many cases, the United States, compared with other cultures, holds its aging population in contempt. Too often, “old people” here are regarded as useless, helpless or a nuisance, left to wind down the clock as they stare out the window, a lifetime of experiences, work, achievement and sacrifice forgotten…”

How to turn Private Conversations into Public Resources through Community Consent 
“So much of our work as journalists can benefit from having a consent-based, trust-building process to turn off-the-record conversations into public, shareable resources. We have private conversations all the time, because it’s a good way for us as humans to be honest and vulnerable with each other. We have these conversations in pursuit of good journalism (ex: relationship-building with sources, building trust with communities) just as we have them in pursuit of a better journalism industry (ex: at events, in Slacks). 

Many times, it is only because a conversation was off the record, that we are able to learn the most — and after learning it, we realize that the broader community could benefit from learning it too. So how do we share knowledge from conversations we all agreed would be private, in a way that builds more trust instead of tearing it down? This guide shares one possible process. 
This public resource was written and compiled by Sisi Wei, and edited by Amanda HickmanLizzy Hazeltine, and Kat Duncan. It is based on the process developed by Sisi, Amanda, and Lizzy in the DEI Coalition to publish two public resourcesbased on private conversations between members, all while honoring the Coalition’s shared community agreements and valuesand default off-the-record nature. You can also read the companion piece to this guide, “Telling people before you begin builds trust. Telling people only after you’re done erodes it.” which digs further into what it means to build trust through this process, and the tensions we grapple with and need to acknowledge along the way.”

“Finally, she mused that human existence is as brief as the life of autumn grass, so what was there to fear from taking chances with your life?”
― Mo Yan
From Red Sorghum