Harris presents the War Horse Symposium, inspired by student-written white paper

University of Chicago - Civic Engagement
By David Chrisinger
20 Mar 23

When David Chrisinger, the executive director of the Writing Workshop at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, tasked two of his star students with analyzing the results from a survey of Americans with connections to the U.S. military, none of them expected it to result in a white paper that would attract attention from the top of the national security establishment. Nor did they imagine it would spur a day-long symposium at the University of Chicago with legendary journalists, world-class scholars, and senior government officials.

But that’s exactly what it did, much to the surprise and delight of Chrisinger, as well as Ellie Vorhaben, MPP’22, and Graham Harwood, MPP Class of 2023, his white paper co-authors.

Hosted by Harris Public Policy and The War Horse News, an award-winning non-profit newsroom, the symposium, to be held on April 6 at the Logan Center for the Arts, will explore themes from the white paper. Those themes include how military “news deserts” threaten national security, what it will take to bridge the troubling military-civilian divide, and the potential for good that lies at the intersection of solutions journalism and public policy.

The white paper, entitled “Engagement, Not Enragement: Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide and Bolstering National Security by Holding the Powerful to Account with More Rigorous, Solutions-Focused Journalism,” analyzes the findings of a 150-question War Horse reader survey that explored views of the coverage of military-related topics, what effect that coverage has, what readers appreciate, and what they don’t appreciate.

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This story was first published by Harris School of Public Policy.

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