“Even the toughest of mainstream newsrooms are aware that the old editorial certainties are being questioned”, said Charlie Beckett on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday.
The Positive News write up of the programme ‘Good News Is No News’ summarised it as follows: “A wave of media alternatives focused on presenting a positive, balanced picture of the world are paving the way for a more diverse journalism, while traditional media are questioning old assumptions about what the news should cover.”
The programme featured us and others in the constructive journalism movement, as well as mainstream media editors. Even Daily Mail deputy editor Tony Gallagher admitted that scare stories don’t always reflect reality. “Crime is going down, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at national media because we still cover the same number of crimes, the same number of murderous trials, so there is a danger that we are not reflecting the world.”
Presenter Charlie Beckett concluded on his Polis journalism think thank blog: “This debate goes to the heart of what news is and what it does in an age when technology is transforming the way we understand our world.”
We strongly believe that constructive journalism has an important part to play in these discussions. We know from partner organisations as well as global interest in our courses that the same ‘big questions’ about journalism are being asked around the world right now.
If you want to join us on this pioneering journey, we would love to welcome you to our next constructive journalism course in London on Friday 20 March 2015. You can book one of the remaining places directly here.
If even well-respected BBC Radio 4 wants to talk about constructive journalism, you know things are happening. Especially if it’s on the popular weekend slot. Listen live, this Sunday 8 February at 1.30pm.
We’re excited that we will feature in the piece. Have a listen on Sunday and let us know what you think!
The documentary will be presented by Charlie Beckett, head of journalism think thank Polis. He wrote announcement stories about it for the Polis website and the Guardian media section.
On the BBC Radio 4 website, the programme description says: “Former news editor Charlie Beckett explores whether there is an unrelenting negativity in the mainstream news agenda, preoccupied with violent crime, human accident, misfortune and disaster. He asks why alternative, so-called positive or solutions-based, ideas for news are so readily dismissed by journalists, broadcasters and editors.
The programme examines the story so far of the ‘positive news’ movement – a movement that’s growing quickly, especially in the United States. The Washington Post, New York Times and Huffington Post all now have sections explicitly devoted to more positive or constructive stories. Charlie Beckett asks why there’s such a visceral resistance to the arguments for change among many professional journalists and editors.”
We’re excited that a growing number of media organisations want to find out more about constructive journalism.
Today, leading industry website Journalism.co.uk published an interview with us, outlining details of our latest educational work.
In the story, our co-founder Seán elaborated on our aim to break down the assumption that journalists always have to primarily look for what’s gone wrong:
While holding power to account and highlighting corruption are “essential parts of journalism,” he said a constructive approach means looking at building on these stories and addressing them in a more balanced way, for example showing what’s being done about the problem.
Our next day course has been scheduled for Friday 20 March 2015 in London. For those who can’t wait to join: we offer a 20% earlybird discount if you book by the end of the month. We’re limiting places to allow for plenty of one-to-one attention.
As we like to use the pay-it-forward philosophy in everything we do, we offer assistance to those who cannot afford our courses. If you are a student, unemployed or on a low income, please contact us to see if we can assist you with a bursary place.
A new year, full of new opportunities for the Constructive Journalism Project. We’ve got exciting plans to help grow the field of constructive journalism in the UK and beyond, and will keep you posted via this page as we go.
We were chuffed with the feedback we received from the pioneers who joined us at the Biscuit Factory. “After ten years as a journalist, this workshop has reinvigorated my passion to use my writing to making a difference, and has given me the tools to challenge the negative news agenda in a sustainable way”, one participant said. We truly hope to be working with many more like-minded journalist in coming months.
Alongside organising workshops, we are in constant contact with organisations and individuals working in the field of constructive journalism around the world. During our last workshop, we had a guest appearance from Keith Hammonds of the Solutions Journalism Network in the US, and BBC Radio 4 even came along to record us. The programme will air next month: we will of course keep you posted!