After the Fact is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts that brings you data and analysis on the issues that matter to you—from our environment and the sciences, to larger economic trends and public health. Experts from Pew and other special guests discuss the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges with host Dan LeDuc, then go behind the facts with nonpartisan analysis and stories.
Beyond Polarization: Talking It Out
Stat: 79%: The share of Americans who believe access to the internet and social media has made people more divided in their political opinions.
Story: Social media plays a significant role in society, but data shows that most Americans believe it negatively affects our democracy and contributes to polarization. In this episode of “Beyond Polarization,” we hear how high school senior Eli Tillemann is helping his classmates learn how to embrace diversity of opinions. We also speak with Heidi Hernandez Gatty from Dialectic, an organization that is working with students and others to help promote respectful dialogue.
Beyond Polarization: Where Americans Agree
Stat: 65%: The share of Americans who say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics.
Story: Political polarization has become overwhelming for the majority of Americans, with most agreeing that more attention is being paid to partisan fighting than solving the nation’s problems. But there is hope. In this episode of “Beyond Polarization,” we speak with experts from Pew Research Center about how Americans view politics and opportunities to find common ground. We also talk to Mónica Guzmán about how her organization, Braver Angels, is teaching people how to dismantle divisions and disagree better.
Beyond Polarization: Where We Are Today
Stat: An inaccurate “double”: Both Democrats and Republicans imagine that almost twice as many of their political opponents hold more extreme views than they really do, according to a study by More in Common.
Story: During times of increased polarization and increasing stresses on democracy, researchers are studying how to break down partisan divides and address misconceptions among members of the public. In the first episode of “Beyond Polarization,” Columbia University professor and author Peter T. Coleman shares what he has learned from his career spent fostering civil dialogue among people with conflicting viewpoints. He discusses how, despite heightened feelings of disagreement across the country, the current conditions are ideal for setting a new course toward better dialogue and understanding.
Coming Soon: Beyond Polarization
If discussing politics feels different today, that’s because it is. Pew Research Center reports that 65% of Americans say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics because of the country’s deep partisan divisions. As polarization increases and trust declines, how can we move forward together?
We speak with researchers and bridge builders from across the political and generational spectrum in a new season of “After the Fact.” They share how they are facilitating civil dialogue, bridging divides, and protecting our democracy in the process.
Strengthening Democracy in America: For the People
Stat: 65%: The percentage of Philadelphians who said the city is “pretty seriously off on the wrong track” in 2023.
Story: Philadelphia is a thriving city with a deep history as the birthplace of American democracy. But Philadelphians, like residents of other large cities, are also grappling with issues such as gun violence, deep poverty, and accessing affordable housing. In a recent survey, 65% of Philadelphians said the city is on the wrong track.
Philadelphia is Pew’s hometown and in this episode, Donna Frisby-Greenwood, who directs the organization’s work in the city, talks about Pew’s legacy and commitment to the residents of Philadelphia—and efforts to make government more responsive to the people. We also hear from Trooper Sanders, CEO of Benefits Data Trust, about the work his organization does to connect people to government benefits they’re eligible for.
Strengthening Democracy in America: Government in Action
Stat: 60% - The share of U.S. adults who have at least some confidence in the future of the U.S.
Story: A vibrant democracy requires a government responsive to the people it serves. And although polls show strong dissatisfaction with American democracy, Pew Research Center also found that 60% of Americans have at least some confidence in the future of the country. Seeking to build on that confidence, Pew experts in this episode discuss innovative, bipartisan policy approaches that help make government more responsive to the people, including investments in broadband access and early childhood education programs.
A podcast for everyone
Some of the episodes on this podcast are some of my favorite things I’ve listened to. Interesting interviews, fact-driven, nonpartisan. Professional host. Although the episodes begin with a data point, the narrative style showcases some of the most poignant journalism in the business.
Good content and concise presentation.
Very informative and non-ideological
This podcast is a great source for insights into emerging trends in American society, without an ideological axe to grind.