About David

Languages

English

TED Conferences

TEDActive 2014, TEDActive 2013, TEDActive 2012

Comments & conversations

232979
David Webber
Posted over 3 years ago
How can the power of the crowd help make journalism better?
The key is to find ways of balancing out the negative potential of journalism and the crowd. What I think we need is something akin to the scientific method for the reporting the news and political debates. A common language of reporting and argument based on empirical evidence and some kind of methodical peer review. Something that can take us off the path of speculative and emotionally charged opinion and toward a common moderate discourse.
232979
David Webber
Posted over 3 years ago
How can the power of the crowd help make journalism better?
Interesting points, all. I think when we talk about crowdsourcing journalism we are really talking about two subjects: the ability of the crowd to document events in a way that professional journalists can gather and interpret and the ability of the crowd to broadcast it’s own interpretations of the news (through blogging and social networks). The former -- the crowd’s ability to give journalists an unprecedented bounty of primary documents -- is invaluable. It can sharpen the integrity of a story and intensify journalism’s power and responsibility to seek and expose the truth. But finding and exposing truth is only half the battle. A journalist cannot reward and punish the good and bad behavior in a government or business -- only the crowd has that power. That’s where the the crowd’s ability to broadcast their own voice -- now more loudly than ever -- comes into play. Only that voice can determine that nature of the conversation and the actions we take. But, I imagine you saying, can’t the crowd can also become a horde? An intemperate mass of reactionary vandals steering us toward inexpert and highly speculative opinions. Sure. But journalists often do this, too -- by picking the most sensationalist stories or by simply regurgitating both sides of a story as it’s narrated to them in an effort to ensure neutral unbiased reporting. When two sides argue for incompatible points one or both must be wrong. The Truth is always biased toward some side of a given argument. Unbiased reporting that comes from a desire not to alienate readers, listeners, or viewers (forced neutrality) is biased toward the side with the weaker argument. Fear of bias can lead reporters to muddle the truth and can have as devastating an effect as the horde -- especially considering it’s air of integrity.
232979
David Webber
Posted about 4 years ago
LIVE TED Conversation: Join TED Speaker Alice Dreger
My question is one of about tolerance. Is tolerance the proper response to difference. To me tolerance implies intolerance, it implies that you must modify your behavior when in the presence of difference and I think that can produce the type of anxiety that Ben is talking about. Is there another position that we can take? Does true tolerance actually look like indifference?
232979
David Webber
Posted about 4 years ago
Neil Pasricha: What do you do to make your life awesome?
For me its enjoying the little rhythms in life. During the week that means enjoying seeing the sun in the morning, a little walk to work, plopping down on the couch in front of the TV, cooking dinner, a baseball game (which has all the awesome rhythms of patient contemplation and instant thrill in itself), and crawling in to bed. Along with really appreciating the people you see everyday - I think that'll get you there.