Public Awareness of….Mediation?

“People don’t know what Mediation is.”  Mediators often make such a statement.  It is true, but why? 

Mainstream television features trials as dramatic, suspenseful stories.  Trials – particularly those that are contrived by network writers – do make for entertainment.  Mediation, on the other hand, doesn’t lend itself to a mass audience who is looking for entertainment.  The only mediation “cameo” I can recall in mainstream media was a scene out of “Wedding Crashers,” and even those with no knowledge of mediation would know that it was a highly contrived (though funny) situation.  Simply put, people working out their differences just doesn’t have the oomph of soap operas, reality shows, etc.

So, one of the main sources of mass communication largely does not highlight people working out their issues themselves through mediation.  For mediation to become “mainstream” or “well-known and understood,” will it require being featured on cable? 

Or, will mediation become more commonly accepted and understood when court systems – across the board – require mediation of every civil action? 

Or, what will it take to make mediation more accessible, understood, and accepted by Americans?


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