Notes: Disagree/Not Disagreeable; Adult Climate Change; Journalism Ethics

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Disagree/Not Disagreeable

This week I had a difficult meeting.  Going into it I knew that what I had to say would make others uncomfortable and they would disagree on some of my points.  If there is one lesson I learned in the C-Suite from the two larger than life CEOs in my past, you must force these meetings. Without them problems fester and become existential threats over time.

But, you have to follow some basic rules:

  1. Over prepare and pre-meeting question all your facts and opinions;
  2. Assume the best about your colleagues;
  3. Do not expect to win an argument, rather expect to solve a problem;
  4. Breath and listen. Do not hold your breath and talk;
  5. Read body language and listen for areas of agreement.

It was a great meeting. At times very difficult, but my colleagues and I agreed on a path forward.  Pretty confident we are on the way to identifying the root cause of the issues and solving them.

Climate Change for Adults

I find discussions of climate change as frustrating as gun control. People immediately go into their corners, then come out swinging.  But in the last Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting and at the Colorado State University Short Course on Wildlife Management, I saw people across all political divides and geographies in agreement.  Things on the ground are changing and we have limited resources to spend on mitigation and adaption.

Conservatives who ranch or have outfitting operations or liberals using trails in urban settings notice the change in flora and fauna.  In both meetings the science focused not on temperature ranges, man versus natural change, and other science related to causation.  Rather the science focused on where to deploy assets.

So, where are animals moving, where are plants regenerating?  Using White Bark Pine mapping as an example, where are the trees naturally regenerating from pine beetle infestation?  Focus management resources on those areas to help nature and log in the hopeless areas.

Journalism Ethics

Ever since my high school reporting days for the Highland Park Bagpipe media bias from all sides has bothered me.  Once I was a lawyer regulated and constantly studying the ethics code, journalism ethics in one area has bothered me in particular.

Pause for readers to make lawyers and ethics jokes.

Lawyers are required to disclose to their clients and often the court their conflicts.  This usually means, investments, opinions, other clients, and anything else affecting their independent representation of their client or their obligations to the court.  Journalists instead pronounce themselves objective.

That has always struck me as silly.  Journalists are humans too.  Perhaps even more so than lawyers. So, why not have journalists declare their beliefs somewhere in their publications?  Particularly with digital journalism, you could simply have a section where each reporter provides a brief description.

“Jane Smith is an economics and business reporter who personally favors government intervention in the free market to curb the excesses of capitalism, higher taxes to fund such intervention and social programs to support those displaced by capitalism.”

Then readers would consider that bias as they read the “objective” reporting.  No longer would partisans pick apart articles over supposed bias, the reader could deal with the actual bias.  Personally, I think this would improve journalism’s declining trust with large segments of the population.

I mean really are Dan Rather or Megyn Kelly objective? Of course not, but they are still good reporters most of the time.

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