Alexander Heffner on Civil Discourse in the New Media Age


Alexander Heffner on Civil Discourse in the New Media Age: The Open Mind Turning 60

Alexander Heffner visited the Quello Center at MSU about one year ago, to discuss his thoughts on on ‘Millennials, Public Media and The Future of Civil Discourse’. His program launched in 2014, The Open Mind, on PBS Channel THIRTEEN/WNET and CUNY TV, revived the longest-running public affairs interview program in the history of American public television, which was launched in 1956 by his grandfather, Richard Heffner. As Alexander approaches the 60th Anniversary of The Open Mind, there could not be a more appropriate time to remind ourselves of the valuable contribution of public affairs programming, and such high-quality interview programs.

Quello Lecture and Panel on ‘Millennials, Public Media and The Future of Civil Discourse’ by Alexander Heffner (NEW) from Quello Center on Vimeo.

I hope you can listen to Alexander Heffner’s brief but important talk. He spoke on how to foster a more civic-minded journalism culture, non-adversarial broadcasting in the public interest, and the critical exploration of pro-social ideas. In the midst of the primary elections for the 2016 Presidential election, it might be valuable to revisit Alexander’s ideas on how to support and renew the character of our political discourse. Clearly, the revival of The Open Mind has been a move in the right direction at the right time. My congratulations to Alexander for envisioning and finding creative ways for renewing this public affairs interview program during a time when civil and informative discourse is so important to our politics and society.

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