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Civil Discourse in Idaho

What is civil discourse? It’s not just about being polite. Civil discourse means engaging in conversations on topics that are important to us, sharing our views and listening to others’ views in honest and productive ways. Our individual civic literacy reflects our ability to stay informed, understand government processes at various levels and know the rights and responsibilities we all have as citizens. 
 

Idaho Public Television is committed to showcasing state and national efforts to break down political and social polarization and promote civil dialogue and civic literacy in the Gem State.

Documentaries

PBS NewsHour examines "A Brief But Spectacular take on telling the whole story." David Bornstein is co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, a group that works with news organizations to produce rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. The goal is to “rebalance the news” to provide people a sense of investment and communities with the information they need to participate in a healthy democracy.

Watch "Beyond Civility," an Idaho Public Television documentary on an Idaho civil discourse project in 2016-2018.

American Creed looks at nationwide efforts to mend our fractured country. 

The "Reunited States" documents four Americans as they try to reach out to fellow citizens of different personal and political perspectives. 

In Idaho's early days, disputes were settled by knives, guns and fists. It took a few zealous advocates to ensure that the rule of law prevailed over vigilantism in the 1800s. Idaho Experience's "Nothing But the Truth" explores the power of truth, justice and fact-finding. 

Watch the documentary "Divided We Fall," about a project on bridging partisan differences by the National Institute for Civil Discourse. 

Educational Materials

 

The Idaho Secretary of State's office provides official voter information to the citizens of Idaho at VoteIdaho.gov.


 


NOVA: Misinformation Nation  

Learn the science behind why misinformation is shared, why it's believed and what we can do to address its spread across digital media. Use this collection to help prepare students to be critical consumers of science content and to make informed judgements about the science media they encounter.

Idaho teachers are using the online All in Favor game-creating tooldeveloped by students at Gimm Works to reimagine civil engagement among youthto help kids in grades 4-12 explore why separating facts from opinions and searching for the truth have been important in our history and remain important today. 

What the Vote! (WTV!) is an entirely volunteer organization comprised of community partners who are passionate about reaching out to high school and college students to inspire them to engage in democracy.  Non-partisan messages are intended to make the voting process easier for students by demonstrating how to become an informed voter, registering them to vote and exciting them about the impact their vote can have on their daily lives. 

Media Literacy

Idaho Debates

As educators, we know that young people need new skills to navigate the modern media landscape. The PBS Media Literacy Certification by KQED recognizes PreK-12 educators who demonstrate their ability to teach students to think critically about media consumption and creation. This certification allows educators to demonstrate expertise in teaching students to produce media that matters and to think critically about their role as media consumers. The course helps teachers as they progress through the certification process, offering ideas, strategies and support. Teachers who complete the certification can earn 3 PD credits through Idaho State University. 

This online course is offered synchronously and asynchronously. Attendees meet virtually with instructors for one hour every month from September through May. We will also record the webinars for educators to watch when convenient if this is the method that they prefer. 

Idaho Teachers with PBS Media Literacy Certification

PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification

 

  • Erika Damasco Zapata
  • Jasmine Quezada
  • Amy Griffin
  • Beth Faddick
  • Amanda Nemes
  • Tara Haley
  • Rodney Wray
  • Sean Kane
  • Michelle Devine
  • Jenna Club

The Idaho Debates is a collaborative effort among the Idaho Press Club, Boise State University’s School of Public Service, University of Idaho’s McClure Center, Idaho State University’s Department of Political Science, League of Women Voters’ Voter Education Fund, and Idaho Public Television. Our goal is to give the public an unbiased platform to hear the views of congressional candidates on the ballot. We do not support or oppose political parties or candidates.

Additional Information

Transparent Idaho

Transparent Idaho was created to increase citizens’ trust in their government by providing state government financial data in an online, searchable format. In 2019, the newest iteration of Transparent Idaho was released to provide an intuitive user interface, greater accessibility features, and increased search functionality. 

Townhall Idaho

In partnership with Governor Little, the Idaho State Controller’s Office released a state public meeting notice portal titled Townhall Idaho. The goal of Townhall Idaho is to make it easier for the public to understand and engage in their government by offering an online one-stop-shop for accessing public meeting information for state executive agencies.