Healing the Infosphere: How Integral Journalism Can Elevate Public Discourse

Stefan SchultzArt & Creativity, Cognitive, Emotional, Ethical, Perspectives, Politics, Video, World Affairs, Worldviews Leave a Comment

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In today’s digital era, the infosphere is a vast and tumultuous sea of information, where news and data churn through the collective consciousness at breakneck speed. This relentless flow presents profound challenges as individuals and societies grapple with the complexities of discerning truth from misinformation, genuine discourse from manipulative rhetoric, and enduring values from fleeting trends. Amidst this chaotic backdrop, the need for a transformative approach to journalism becomes clear — an approach that not only navigates these turbulent waters but also seeks to calm them, providing clarity and insight in a world overwhelmed by the noise of perpetual connectivity.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Corey deVos talks to Stefan Schultz, a journalist at Der Spiegel magazine, about his model for integral journalism that he has been developing over the past few years. This model, staggering in both its depth and its breadth, examines journalism and media literacy through a developmental lens, looking at how the infosphere shapes society and how journalism can positively influence this process.

Stefan outlines the four key problem areas he sees in journalism today: frustration among reporters, dissatisfaction in audiences due to lack of perspectives/empathy/positivity in coverage, challenges for media companies in retaining subscribers, and polarization in society. To address these systemic issues, Stefan convened an interdisciplinary team to examine the problem from all angles and prototype solutions. He views journalism as one part of a larger ecosystem that also includes both the infosphere and society, where every developmental stage, from Amber to Teal, has beneficial and detrimental impacts on this ecosystem. The goal is to amplify the positive contributions of each stage while minimizing the negatives — for example, having journalists at different stages collaborate: Amber focuses on group cohesion, Orange on investigation, Green on empathy, Teal on synthesis, etc.

Ultimately, integral journalism aims to facilitate development by exposing people to more complex information, healthier discourse, and inspiration for transformation. While the infosphere has become decentralized and overwhelming, journalists can still act as “beacons” to promote greater wisdom and maturity in public dialogue. The integral model provides a roadmap for how journalism can evolve to better meet the needs of a complex world.

Chapter Timecodes

(00:00:00) Introduction and Catching Up
(00:03:48) The Four Key Problem Areas in Journalism
(00:11:18) The U-Lab Process: Rational and Intuitive Approaches
(00:24:33) The Metasystemic Map: Journalism’s Ecological Hierarchy
(00:29:07) The Evolution of the Infosphere
(00:29:07) The Evolutionary Stages of Journalism and
(00:35:06) The Shrinking Influence of Journalism
(00:42:05) Reinventing Journalism in the Social Media Age
(00:47:52) The Big Map: Journalism, Infosphere, and Society
(00:50:42) The Umber Stage: Bridging Amber and Orange
(01:02:58) Beneficial and Detrimental Contributions of Each Stage
(01:06:41) The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Green
(01:14:10) Zones of Perspective and Cross-Level Communication
(01:26:08) The Role of Journalism in the Infosphere
(01:39:55) Glue and Solvent: What Holds Society Together
(01:49:17) Conclusion and Future Directions

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Integral Journalism in the Disinformation Age

Stefan Schultz and Corey deVos

Stefan Schultz is a journalist for Der Spiegel magazine since 2008, and a student of integral theory since 2018. In this fun and far-ranging discussion, Corey deVos talks to Stefan about his own integral approach to journalism, taking a careful look at the primary methods and motivations of journalism we see at each major stage of development. They then go on to suggest what a more integral form of journalism might look like, while also exploring a number of related topics — the role of art and aesthetics in journalism, the distinction between orthodox and heterodox sources of information, the collapse of legitimacy in our media institutions, and much more.

Stefan Schultz

About Stefan Schultz

Stefan Schultz is a journalist at Der Spiegel magazine. He is a former correspondent in San Francisco, New York and Beijing, and has done reporting and analyses from all over the world. He is a business editor with priorities on energy transition, digitalization, and China. Stefan is the author of several books, and a lecturer in multimedia storytelling. He is winner of the Ernst Schneider Prize and the Georg Holtzbrinck Prize. Stefan has been an integral student and practitioner since 2018, and lives in Germany with his wife and two sons.

Stefan studied media culture, politics and British literature in Hamburg and Lisbon (M.A.), and has done freelance work at "Hamburger Abendblatt", "Prinz", and the Portuguese daily newspaper "24 Horas". Development editor and cross-media representative for the print and TV edition of "Deutschland International".

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is editor and producer of Integral Life. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.