Many of us went into journalism with a desire to help change the world. And yet, working in traditional media often leaves us feeling frustrated. The emerging field of constructive journalism offers hope – and a different picture.
The lack of editorial interest in genuine solutions to the problems facing society makes it hard for journalists to break the negative news cycle. We often know that there is another side to a story we report on: examples of positive change, of resilience and transformation, and of exciting possibilities. And we know that our audiences love to hear about it. But how do we go about telling these stories effectively and using our journalism as a force for good?
Increasingly, media globally are starting to realise that they can report in a more inspiring way, while not just upholding but in fact strengthening all the standards of quality reporting. Some call it ‘solutions journalism’, others ‘positive reporting’, but it is about more than just focusing on what works. It is a way of presenting a fuller picture within conventional reporting, which is more empowering and engaging for audiences and more beneficial to society. Ultimately, it is about constructive journalism.
Together with Seán Dagan Wood, editor of Positive News, the world’s first positive newspaper, and co-founder of the Transformational Media Initiative, I have spent the past couple of months developing a brand new course. The one-day workshop is especially designed for freelancers wanting to dive deeper into the up-and-coming field of constructive journalism, and learn how to use this innovative and pioneering new approach within their freelance career.
The subject matter is close to my heart, as I have been covering social problems as well as solutions for many years. Over time my focus shifted to constructive journalism. As an independent journalist, I had to learn how to get editors on board, find outlets for my work and – let’s be realistic here – somehow make sure that what I believed in also generated a stable income. I found ways through trial and error and I continue to adapt to the changing media landscape. Now, I want to share what I learned with you.
I am happy to announce that the course officially launched today! The modules we will cover are a mixture of solid academic research into constructive journalism and practical applications for freelancers. You can check out all the details on constructivejournalism.org. The first of its kind in the UK, this exclusive course will take place on Thursday 27 November in London and spaces are limited.
This is a stand-alone course and previous participation in a Journopreneur workshop is not required. This workshop will cover 100% different materials, focused on constructive journalism within freelancing. If you have got any questions or would like to have a chat about whether the course is right for you, do feel free to contact me, as always.
Meanwhile, you can watch my fellow course leader Seán Dagan Wood explain the concept of constructive journalism -and why we need it- at TEDx: