State of Civility

Ryan Welch / KSMU

All this week, we’re investigating civility and what role it plays in our community.

Today, we’re considering the news media:  what role do – or should – journalists play in encouraging civil discourse?  And what’s the state of civility in terms of how journalists themselves are treated?

Let’s tackle that one first by taking a step back and looking through a nationwide lens.

Michele Skalicky

Social media has become a platform for people to share ideas and learn more about one another.  But it’s also become a battleground, of sorts—a place where people can hide behind words and say things they wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face.  A recent study done by Wired Magazine and Disqus looked at the number of toxic posts in each state.  In Missouri, the study found that 7.3 percent of posts over a 16-month period, included hostile content.

When President Donald Trump came to town, hateful comments between those who support Trump and those who don’t were flying. 

But there were people whose comments sought to calm the situation.