Monday, March 14, 2011

Communication professors co-host radio show with room for disagreement

Whitworth communication professors with differing political views, Mike Ingram and Jim McPherson, have launched a new radio show, Civil Disagreement, on Whitworth.fm. Rather than facing off in the supposed right and left wing battles that may be expected, McPherson and Ingram strive to provide something different.

"Both of us have been frustrated with the nastiness and political rigidity of much of what passes for discourse in America," McPherson says. "We hope to promote wider recognition that disagreement need not be mean-spirited or personal. It can be good-natured and sometimes even funny."

McPherson and Ingram are longtime friends and often use their friendship as proof, in classes and in their writing, that political differences need not build barriers.

"Mike and I have been waging friendly arguments for more than a decade, making it a point to get together for lunch after significant political events," McPherson says.

Civil Disagreement seemed like the next step to share their differing views in an educational and humoring manner.

"We hope listeners hear how informed citizens can articulate a belief, support it with logic and reasoning, and engage in respectful dialog with those who disagree with them," Ingram says.

In their first weeks on air, McPherson and Ingram discussed national health care, labor unions, the federal budget, Ronald Reagan, the role of religion in politics, Sarah Palin and the 2012 presidential races, the Middle East, and funding of public radio and television. Future topics include energy policy, immigration, gays in the military, the role of public protest, affirmative action and school vouchers.

Ingram and McPherson constantly challenge each other, but that's what makes it interesting and entertaining, they say.

"Jim challenges me and my ideas, so I have to prepare as if I am teaching Core 350 to the entire faculty and student body," Ingram says. "And it's simply fun to do this with my friend."

Tune in on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at www.whitworth.fm to hear Ingram and McPherson civilly disagree.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contact:

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703, or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.