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MARTINSBURG — While the Democratic debates are continuously covered on television media outlets and people online debate politics and share opinions, the director of a new institution in the Eastern Panhandle says it is devoted to creating more civility and authenticity in political discourse, and also committed to showcasing the Eastern Panhandle on a national stage.

The Shepherd University Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications first opened its doors in July of this year and, through a $1 million donation by the Stubblefields, will provide the Eastern Panhandle a place of learning that offers an advanced platform for the study of political communications amid a national political culture of divided ideology and partisan rhetoric.

“We as Americans need to learn to speak and listen to each other again and we want to make a national impression,” David Welch, a Martinsburg resident, political media expert, local radio talk show host and the newly named director of the Institute, said. “We want the world to know on the banks of the Potomac River in a small town called Shepherdstown in West Virginia that someone is making a statement about the condition of political dialogue in our country today. I think that’s what the institute is all about; will we change the world in one day? No. But if we can start to make as statement in the positive direction then maybe one day we can look back and say we started something.”

Source: The Journal