After six years of pioneering work, we feel that the Constructive Journalism Project has achieved its mission of raising awareness of constructive journalism and helping it grow into an established field of journalistic practice. As a result, we have decided to wrap up the project.
Founded in London by Sean Wood and Danielle Batist in 2014, we joined a small but dedicated group of people who believed it was time to redress the negativity bias in the news. Together with Jodie Jackson, Veronique Mistiaen and Giselle Green, we formed a collective who promoted constructive journalism within the industry and to the public. Initially we operated UK-wide but quickly attracted attention from around Europe and beyond.
Training was at the heart of our approach, beginning with workshops for freelance journalists before collaborating with universities across the UK to share learnings from a growing body of research on the effects of solutions-focused news on audiences. Soon we were invited into newsrooms at major media organisations.
Between us we ran hundreds of workshops as our training expanded internationally from Dublin to Doha, Vienna to Virginia, Tirana to Thessaloniki, and London to Leeds. We brought the concept to journalists in very different political and media landscapes, such as Syria, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, exploring how constructive journalism could play a role in conflict reporting. Our team spoke at events such as the International Journalism Festival (Perugia, Italy) and the Global Constructive Journalism Conference (Aarhus, Denmark), and regularly advocated for the benefits of constructive journalism in industry press.
And we moved beyond the journalism industry to bring audiences on board. Throughout our journey, we remained committed to producing constructive journalism ourselves. We’re proud to have inspired and supported a number of other constructive journalism outlets, while more and more major news publishers have begun including constructive journalism in their reporting too.
Other organisations promoting and teaching constructive and solutions journalism have grown alongside us, and new ones launched. Many are now much larger and better resourced than our project, so we end our activity knowing that the field is in good hands. We’ve been particularly inspired by the brilliant work of the Solutions Journalism Network in the US and Europe, as well as the launch of the Constructive Institute and the Constructive Journalism Network.
While our collective project has completed, individually we remain very much committed to constructive journalism through all the work we continue to do. We’d love to stay connected. If you’d like to reach any of us in the future, feel free to get in touch. Thanks for all your support and enthusiasm over the years. Our shared passion for a more constructive journalism landscape will undoubtedly mean some of our paths will cross again one day.
Seán Dagan Wood Co-Founder, Constructive Journalism Project
Danielle Batist Co-Founder, Constructive Journalism Project
Danielle Batist co-founded the Constructive Journalism Project out of a desire to tip the current news balance towards a more solutions-focused approach. As a journalist, she writes about social change and highlights what’s working. As a media innovation consultant, she helps startups and independent media organisations to sustainably do the same. You can reach her via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @daniellebatist.
Veronique Mistiaen Journalist and Trainer
Veronique Mistiaen is award-winning journalist reporting on human rights, social and humanitarian issues, global development and the environment. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Times, The Economist, BBC, Vice, Financial Time, Newsweek, Positive News, Le Monde, Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle, among many other media outlets.
She runs training in Constructive Journalism in the UK and internationally, journalism skills and storytelling for marginalised communities, and reporting diversity in areas of ethnic, political and religious tensions. She is bilingual English-French. You can contact her via email at: [email protected] , on Twitter @VeroMistiaen and Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/veroniquemistiaenjournalist/
Giselle Green Journalist, Editor, Trainer
Giselle Green is a former BBC radio news reporter and producer. She was the launch editor of Constructive Voices, an NCVO project to promote constructive journalism and flag up solutions stories sourced from charities and social enterprises. She gives training talks about constructive journalism to students and runs a new project, Solutions Central, in association with the Solutions Journalism Network, to engage the public, generate community stories and act as a hub for both journalists and individuals interested in constructive journalism.
You can contact her via email at: [email protected], on twitter @GiselleG7 and LinkedIn
Jodie Jackson Author and Researcher
Jodie Jackson is a campaigner, researcher and author of two books: ‘You Are What You Read – why changing your media diet can change the world’ and Little Ruffle and the world beyond’, an illustrated children’s book introducing solutions stories to the next generation. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of East London. She has conducted research on the psychological impact of news information on the reader, and in particular the role of positive news and its perceived effects. She believes that it is as important to educate the consumer on these potential effects as it is to get the media industry on board. She is a regular speaker at journalism events and universities. On Twitter: @JacksonJodie21