Speaking truth to power

It's a hackneyed expression, but its value hasn't diminished through use. With painful elections behind us and an uncertain future ahead, speaking truth to power is one of the few tools we have to shape that future. And it won't be easy. A convincing message needs solid, verifiable research, with analysis backing it up, and the determination to keep pounding that message out even when it seems none are paying attention. A passage I read recently spells it out nicely.

There's no surer path out of the wilderness than to keep making their arguments sharply, forcefully and with the well-being of ordinary folks uppermost in mind.

This may seem a daunting task, but we are not without resources. There are well-qualified folks doing that research and analysis right now, making efforts to put the results in front of as many government officials and citizens as can be reached. That's where we come in.

I spent a few hours the other day trying to shift my old media mindset into new, and (believe it or not) I learned a few things. I learned I had totally misunderestimated the potential of communication outlets like Twitter and Facebook. I actually learned that I had a lot more to learn about them, but it's a start.

One thing I already knew was there are several non-profits here in North Carolina dedicated to a wide range of issues, doing amazing and critical work to explore problems and solutions. But many of them are also plagued by a lack of exposure, which is hurting not only them, but also the public that desperately needs that information. You can facilitate that information flow by Tweeting, retweeting, posting links to their blogs and websites on your own Facebook page, etc.

And you can drop comments on newspaper website articles referencing their work, which might just give the reporters someplace besides the Show to turn to for answers.

We all need to take it up a notch on pushing information out. And maybe along the way we can create an environment where foolishness and propaganda collapse under the weight of reason.


Here's an example

Today I received an email from a group called "Friends of Mt. Jefferson" announcing their new website. Had you not written this post, I would have deleted it and forgotten it. Instead, I'm posting it as a comment for a few hundred people to see. On the front page, it would be a few thousand.

What these hundreds and thousands of people (along with hundreds and thousands of others in different communities) do with the information they get may be the thing that matters most.