You Can Fight Falsehoods
More and more these days, debates and discussions about important social issues get hijacked or derailed by misinformation that people too readily accept as truth. For example, who can forget the “death panel” myth propagated by opponents of the Affordable Care Act? Or in the absence of any evidence linking autism to vaccines, why do some parents refuse to immunize their children?
In our latest SmartCast, we talk with Brendan Nyhan, Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth University, who has been studying the phenomenon of false beliefs since 2000, as well as the challenges in debunking misinformation and myths once they begin to take hold.
The big question we put to Nyhan: can anything be done to combat the spread of erroneous information?
SmartCast: When Worldviews Collide
As communicators, we often think that the more facts we have to use the more persuasive our messages. Yet, even when our messages are bolstered with solid scientific evidence, some people will reject them because they conflict with their personal beliefs and cultural affiliations.
Faced with those facts, what’s a communicator to do?
(A version of this post appears on the Philanthropy 411 blog.)
Guest Post: Lora Smith
At its very core, policy advocacy is an exercise in strategic communications. To succeed at influencing policy, advocacy organizations need to be able to persuade decision makers why change is in the public’s best interest.
Yet, as a new report from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation shows, many nonprofit advocacy organizations lack sufficient communications capacity to create and deliver messages that are key to successfully influencing policy changes.
Guest Post: Ryan Reynolds
Indexes are handy ways to track and report progress. You can’t beat the Dow Jones Industrial Index to follow the ups and downs of stock prices. Ditto the Consumer Price Index, which compares the cost of goods and services from year to year.
But what if you want to track progress on important social issues? Thanks to troves of data available these days, nonprofits are increasingly using indexes to communicate about their work and their underlying causes.