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Last year we started down a new path to define what a future of Beneficial Media might look like, a future where media systems were actually good for people and good for society. To start, we convened hundreds of leaders from across media in a conversation not about what was wrong, but about what could be right. We set out to identify what values would define that future, what might be needed, what might be useful. As so much has shifted over the last six months so have our plans. The coalition we had hoped to launch to further define and advocate for Beneficial Media has, for the moment, been replaced by this livestream series to continue that conversation and work. But it is also a response to the moment and an expression of the need to engage in the question of what media will be like and should be like in a post-COVID world.

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With over a hundred people attending, chatting, asking questions, it was every bit as vibrant as we hoped. Our guests Talia Stroud from the University of Texas, Aimee Woodall from The Black Sheep Agency, and Justin Purnell from NBCUniversal led us on a conversation that took us through our current search for content that Justin described as a “flight to quality” to a deeper conversation about what changes we’re experiencing might be durable. Talia described the potential of “attending to compassion and empathy” that had been the norm in the early weeks of this pandemic but that could be an experience we design for in the future. She also identified a deficit in local information systems that speaks to a need for the revival of local information — a topic we will return to in a future livestream discussion.

Questions from the community took us in the direction of new business models, new incentives for quality, and the need for media system to help honor and guide us to expertise, especially in times of crisis.

We hope you’ll watch the recording here and tune in for our next session on 6/24 where we will be talking mis/dis-information with Claire Wardle (First Draft), Ashley Bryant (A/B Partners), and Lisa Kaplan (Alethea Group).

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Register here for our next Beneficial Media Futures livestream on 6/24.

These are conversations that we will continue to host and if you have suggestions for possible topics, drop them in the comments below. We hope these discussions can be the beginning of a broader movement toward Beneficial Media.

Much more to come. Be well.

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