Koch Family

StoryCorps aims to counter online platforms' "scary" polarization

People in a train station walk by an illuminated both
The StoryCorps recording booth in Grand Central Terminal. Photo: ANDREW HOLBROOKE/Corbis via Getty Images

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — StoryCorps founder Dave Isay, who has spent a large part of his career facilitating conversations between individuals in person, says the way large online platforms transform discourse “scares the s--- out of me.”

The big picture: Since its 2003 founding, StoryCorps has recorded conversations between people who know each other — preserving the interactions for posterity. In response to a moment of intense political polarization, it has started to record pairs of individuals from sharply different viewpoints talking with each other about their lives.

The Koch network says it wants to pivot to bipartisanship

Two men stand next to each other on stage
Koch network executive Brian Hooks (L) and Charles Koch on Saturday night. Photo: The Seminar Network

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Top staffers for billionaire Charles Koch's conservative influence operation say it can leave its past political brawling behind to build bipartisan coalitions attacking major policy problems.

Why it matters: They offered very little about their political targets for the next two years — and didn’t engage in much criticism of President Trump — as the network tries to reinvent itself in a changing political landscape.