Bad news is not the only news out there and just because there can be bad news does not mean it always needs to be presented like it is  the end of the world.

When I went to university, I stopped watching television and it was wonderful. 

No longer was I being exposed to toxic negativity of the 24-hour news cycle and, you know what, my outlook on the world massively improved. No longer did I feel like I had to be trapped in a cycle of dread and despair about life. This had such a profound effect on me that I even stopped consuming news online and in print.

The downside, however, was that I fell out of the loop of current affairs. Paradoxically, I had gained a more positive outlook on the planet, but I became very ignorant towards the larger political narrative of the planet… a larger political narrative that always has a huge influence over my life course.

I think ignorance towards current affairs creates more problems further down the line because the voting public can more easily be duped by bad choices (look at the Brexit Catastrophe). Certainly, I felt like I had lost touch with political decisions were shaping my life and how I could myself influence the shape of those larger political decisions. 

Then I discovered the concept of constructive journalism, via outlets like Positive News and The Bristol Cable.

Not only was I given a critical mental framework through which I could very easily reframe negative journalism into a positive outcome, but I began to see a much more socially beneficial form of news reporting that can increasingly become the norm, if more and more journalists adopt the principles and practices of constructive journalism. 

6 Courses

Introduction to Journalism

Platform: FutureLearn

Institution: University of Stratclyde

Started: 26/05/2016

Finished: 27/05/2016

Go to course on Class Central

 

What is News?

Platform: Coursera

Institution: Michigan State University

Started: 29/03/2017

Finished: 06/04/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

Gathering and Developing the News

Platform: Coursera

Institution: Michigan State University

Started: 06/04/2017

Finished: 12/04/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

Effectively delivering the news to your audience

Platform: Coursera

Institution: Michigan State University

Started: 12/04/2017

Finished: 19/04/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

Community Journalism: Digital and Social Media

Platform: FutureLearn

Institution: Cardiff University

Started: 30/07/2016

Finished: 12/08/2016

Go to course on Class Central

 

Journalism for Social Change

Platform: edX

Institution: University of California, Berkeley

Started: 26/08/2017

Finished: 24/09/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

2 Periodicals

Positive News

Issues: 84 – 90 (26/05/2016 – 19/10/2018)

Publisher: Positive News Publishing Ltd.

Go to Positive News

 

The Bristol Cable

Publisher: The Bristol Cable

Go to the Bristol Cable

 

I think constructive journalism speaks to those who can see that a lot of news is not currently honoring journalistic ethics — such as being fair, balanced, and accountable. Not because of a political skew, but because of an overwhelming negativity bias, where “being critical” has mutated into being overly negative and cynical. Being critical is reporting on facts, statements, documents, and actions in a balanced way — not having a negative stance from the outset. Colleagues who realize this are prone to venturing into constructive journalism because it makes their work more comprehensive and balanced.

Cathrine Gyldensted, How constructive journalism can improve the way media makers tell stories, ivoh.org