Can we talk? Gannett promotes effort at bridging gaps

Posted On: Jul 24, 2021   |   Posted By: My Sanantonio

NEW YORK - The conversation between Brian Roy and Brian Webb felt, at first, like a blind date. In the same way, the people who brought them together hope that it's the start of something.
They were participants in an effort backed by the media company Gannett to get people with opposing political views to talk with each other, part of a “National Week of Conversation” sponsored by democracy-oriented groups that is ending this weekend.
The idea in these polarizing times is that if enough people start talking, they'll find common ground or at least realize that they don't need to be in warring camps because they vote for different people, said Mizell Stewart, Gannett's vice president of news performance, talent and partnerships.
A month ago, Gannett embedded a survey in news stories that appeared on the websites for USA Today and 250 company-owned local news sites in 46 states, seeking participants.
Conversations via video conference with more than 1,200 volunteers took place, which Stewart admits was...

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