Frank Partsch: The constitutional right of free speech brings out the best in us, and the worst. This project is conducted in the spirit of the First Amendment. The Civility Project does not seek to redefine political campaigning or reinvent the public-policy conversation. We aim to be persuasive, no matter how great the distance between points of view, in promoting respect, not only for the adversary but also for the audience and for the democratic institutions whose wellbeing depends so much on the wisdom of an informed electorate.
Frank Partsch: A civility project may sound like something new for The National Conference of Editorial Writers. But the NCEW commitment to high standards in the public discussion goes back many years.
Luanne Rife: What would happen if a group of self-selected people agreed to debate online with the guiding rule being they had to own their comments in the same manner as we demand of letter writers?
Paul Hurley: When a local church renovated a former bar/restaurant into a gathering place two years ago, we were presented with an opportunity we couldn't refuse. What developed was a monthly public forum on topics of interest to our community and a partnership that is unique to newspapers.
For more information on The Civility Project, you may contact Frank Partsch or Lisa Strohl