what is the narratives project?

About us

Peace through mutual understanding.

From 2020 - 2022, the Narratives Project provided people with the tools to make sense of today's complex news environment — without telling them what to think about it.

We did this by:

  1. Highlighting the different narratives around news events
  2. Identifying the values driving these distinct perceptions 
  3. Providing tips for becoming more aware of the subconscious processes that drive how we interpret new information
  4. Showing what pluralism — the idea that there’s more than one way to understand the world — looks like in practice.




First, we use a social media listening tool to identify the most divisive news stories.



Next, we dive into the conversation to identify how different people are talking about the story.



Then, we present at least two widely held perspectives within each side's own terms.



Finally, we relate these perspectives back to the morals and values driving them.

Still curious about our process? Check out our FAQ and Methodology pages.

Our Story

The Narratives Project began as a rough sketch and a tweet.

August 2020
The first tweet

While writing his masters' thesis on the evolution and divergence of narratives around political events, Shaun observed a real-life example of his theory in the August 25 Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting. He quickly sketched out his observation and shared it on Twitter.

September 2020
Substack launches

Many people found that original tweet so useful that they requested the same sort of analysis for other divisive news events. As a result, Shaun decided to start publishing news analyses on the email newsletter platform Substack.

March 2021
scaling up

Donors saw value and potential in this small Substack operation, and the Narratives Project received funding to expand from a side project into a full-fledged non-profit.

May 2021
Website launch

The Narratives Project moved off of Substack and onto its own website for more flexibility in how our content is presented.

May 2021 - August 2022
Creating a news product

We experimented to find the best way to present our ideas and insights to the world. Our goal is to make our analysis timely, quick to read, and simple to understand.  

JULY 2021

We spent two years trying to better understand the ideas that divide us, the news industry, human psychology, and much more.

September 2022

We then worked with news resource Citable to develop a news product for the twenty-first century, incorporating what we learned.

Our Team



Executive Director