Journalism and Community Moderation in Polarized Debates

Maximilian Glas, Weather Constructions, 2022


Journalism and Community Moderation in Polarized Debates

How can we contribute to constructive public debates? To answer this question, we convened a workshop with key figures from communication studies, journalism, activism, and politics.

What can journalism and community moderation do in the face of polarizing debates?

Public debates on ecological issues tend to escalate – think, for instance, of the debates about low-carbon heating systems, the Last Generation group, agricultural diesel. This is a problem when debates become deadlocked and climate and environmental protection fall by the wayside.

Journalists and other moderators of public debate need to ask themselves: Are we (unconsciously) contributing to polarization? How can we (consciously) contribute to constructive public debates?


This workshop aims to make the complex dynamics of polarization easier to understand using the example of the climate discourse, and to draw conclusions for journalism, professional content, and community moderation.

To this end, we are bringing together experts from the field, such as the psychologist Friedemann Schulz von Thun, representatives from NGOs, such as the Kompetenznetzwerk Hass im Netz, and researchers, to jointly develop recommendations for professional practice within the framework of a "Hamburg Declaration" that are based on scientific principles and are practicable and compatible with journalistic independence and freedom.

In the evening, there will be a final discussion with the climate activist Luisa Neubauer, the publicist Anja Reschke and Ricarda Lang, party leader of the Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), who will talk about their own experiences of polarization in climate debates.


This conference is a closed event. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Louisa Pröschel.

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