Posted by: denaragoble | October 9, 2017

News Engagement Day: Using News to Start Conversations

“They Survived the Las Vegas Shooting.  But They Don’t Want More Gun Control.”
Selected from Time

I chose a news story about the Las Vegas shooting which was a personal account of a survivor who still doesn’t believe in gun control.  I used this story as an opportunity to engage in conversations about gun control.

I recounted the story to my Mom (age 65), my Fiancé (age 32), a female co-worker (age 31) and a friend (age 48).  In an era where people are not verbally communicating, I told this story in person to three of these people and via e-mail to my friend that I don’t see as often.

With my co-worker, I didn’t know her political views, or how much news she reads on a daily basis.  I also sit next to her everyday so I didn’t want to present the story in an argumentative way that would create conflict.

My Mother is very liberal and well informed so I could speak freely about the article and share my opinions about gun control.  Because she is so well informed, I came armed with other stories about the same topic that she may not have seen, such as clips from Colbert or The Daily Show.  This comedy aspect also helped when sharing the story with my Fiancé.

This sort of news article and conversation is hard to have via email.  Yes, it’s an effective and fast way to communicate, but it’s hard to have follow up conversations about the article.

A key takeaway from this is that the subject matter of the story is important when deciding who you’re going to tell and how you’re going to tell it.  I was comfortable sharing this political story with people close to me but if I wanted to share it with acquaintances, I would probably do so in a less personal way such as social media.

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