About six weeks ago, we at Medium gave ourselves a simple goal: identify the Most Important Issues Facing the World Today—capital letters intended—and find the stories to match.
It didn’t take long before one theme in particular emerged. Every idea our staff discussed had at its core the concept of trust — or, more pointedly, the erosion of trust.
The Trump Administration has called into doubt basic scientific facts, eroding trust in the tools that help us understand our world. Polls show that trust in the media is lower than it has been in decades, despite our desperate need for an honest broker. Interpersonal trust in the #metoo era and in the digital age is crumbling. Trust in the highest ranks of government as well as in local law enforcement has always been fraught, and never so much as it is today. The blockchain boom suggests we don’t trust the foundations of our financial system. Congress doesn’t trust Big Tech—and chances are, neither do you.
This crisis of trust is a fundamental fact about the way we live today. As one writer, Eliot Peper, put it to me in an email: “Trust is the active ingredient in human civilization. Trust and its absence has shaped societies across generations. What will this crisis mean for the future? A lot, I think.”
We think so too. That’s why Trust Issues will guide our publishing at Medium throughout the month of June.
In our first issue of a monthly themed digital magazine, Medium will be publishing stories — from the exalted to the mundane — about trust.
You’ll hear from the Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, Medium’s own Stephanie Georgopulos and Aaron Gell, the bestselling novelist J. Courtney Sullivan, chelsea g. summers, the academic and Microsoft Research lead danah boyd, foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer, as well as futurist and comedian Baratunde Thurston, journalists Bryan Walsh and Manoush Zomorodi, and foreign correspondent Simon Shuster. We also have the Presidential historian and first female editor of TIME, Nancy Gibbs, among others.
From personal relationships to the global stage, trust is what makes humanity more than just humans—and we’re in danger of losing it. Our goal, this month and every month, is to bring Medium readers stories that matter, stories that fulfill the trust you put in us.
You can follow it all at Trust Issues.