StoryCorps Taking 'One Small Step' To Reduce Toxic Talk Over Politics

Sep 10, 2019

Over the next few weeks, WUSF will be sharing stories produced for One Small Step, the latest project from StoryCorps. Each segment features two strangers, with completely different political beliefs, sitting down together and having a conversation. 

The idea is to take "one small step" toward getting people to empathize with one another and to bring down the cultural temperature.

This week on Florida Matters we give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the project came together.

We talk with two of the participants in the project: Brad Pupello, a Marine Corps. veteran who considers himself a conservative, and Paul Mott, an Army veteran who identifies as liberal.

They talk about what it was like to sit down with one another and what they have learned about each other and themselves since going through the interview process. 

We speak with Scott Wachtler, one of the producers of the project for WUSF, just one of six public media stations nationwide selected to participate in One Small Step.

He talks about what it was like finding 50 people to participate in the interviews and common themes he heard as the pairs of strangers come together to meet and listen to one another.

We also talk with StoryCorps founder Dave Isay about the inspiration behind One Small Step and what's next for the project.

The One Small Step stories will air Mondays at 8:45 a.m. and 4:44 p.m. on WUSF 89.7, starting on Sept. 16. Brad and Paul's story runs Sept. 30.