We at AllSides also look back at this year as a turning point for our cause. Our mission is to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. In the past, most of the people we talked to thought this was fine and good, but not very important or practical. This last year has seen the entire nation wake up to the problem and search for a solution to build a better future.
We recognized this problem early. I gave my first speech about how the internet can divide us almost 21 years ago, and watched our society and technology evolve in good and bad ways. Seeing a potential solution, we launched the first prototype of our balanced news service in 2012. Since then, we have tested many solutions, patented technology for rating media bias and built great partnerships such as those in the Bridge Alliance.
A little over a year ago we launched our Relationships First module for AllSides For Schools, the non-profit school program we run with our partner Living Room Conversations, and today we are in 45 states.
Recognizing the importance of building dialogue and relationships across divides, this summer we created and tested a new Mismatch program that connects political opposites for a structured online conversation. We tested this in schools and had incredible results with 92% of students better appreciating the other. We are now working with our partners to raise funds to make this a universal service for everyone.
We just wrapped up production on a pilot for a radio/television series called “Bridge the Divide” where we break down complex issues across the political spectrum. Stay tuned for more on this in the new year.
We finished 2017 with a TED talk in New Orleans about building bridges across filter bubbles. Our talk was viewed over half a million views in a week.
We have learned a great deal about practical steps we can take together to move the nation forward. Join our cause in 2018. Support our news service, donate to our schools program, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share with your friends!