There has never been a greater need for civil discourse to transcend borders and reach the largest number of people possible. Consider all the global problems we face: from climate change to cybercrime. Now consider all the unprecedented opportunities we have for international cooperation: the growth of international institutions, the increasingly open dissemination of knowledge, digital collaboration tools, and so on.
The most important resource we have to help us navigate all of these issues is intelligent and unfettered conversation. This is why, if you’re not already a devoted reader of Project Syndicate (PS), you should be. PS provides incisive analysis from many of the top policymakers, business leaders, and academics in the world. Articles cover a sprawling range of global subjects, such as economics, international politics, sustainable development, health care, and technology.
Many publications boast about providing content from experts who are “leaders in their fields,” but when you take a look at contributors to PS, that promise sounds like an understatement. If you’re interested in international relations, you’ll find 189 articles from Joseph Nye – one of the most influential international relations theorists of the past 50 years. If you’re looking for insight about development economics, PS has published almost 300 articles by Jeffrey Sachs. PS also includes articles by world leaders, such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (who has been a contributor since 2012).
But the most exciting thing about PS is the journalistic model it has established. PS provides its commentary to more than 500 outlets in 156 countries – even when those outlets can’t afford the cost of traditional syndication. More than half of the outlets that print PS content receive it for free or at a discounted rate. When most people hear the term “democratized media,” they think of decentralization and independent content creators. But PS offers democratized access to analysis by some of the finest minds in the world.
In countries like the United States, we accept the existence of a critical, independent, and free press as a natural part of our civil society. There are many parts of the world where this isn’t the case: media are restricted, underfunded, and marginalized in countless other ways. PS is a way to bypass those obstacles and give as many people as possible access to the global conversation.
Credits: Writer, Matt Johnson; photo image via Pixabay.