A pioneering workshop in London next month aims to equip journalists to better serve society by creating content that is more engaging and empowering for their audiences
“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,” explained Danielle Batist, freelance journalist and founder of the Journopreneur platform, who will co-lead a pioneering new workshop in constructive journalism.
“The emerging field of constructive journalism offers hope – and a different picture.”
The first of its kind in the UK, the workshop will introduce journalists to the concept, addressing what it is, why it is of value and where stories written within this framework can be published. Taking place at The Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, London on 27 November, the day is primarily tailored to freelancers but all journalists are welcome.
“Over the past 13 years in journalism I covered many problems,” said Batist. “In traditional newsrooms, it was what editors expected of me: ‘good news is no news’ was the mindset. As I travelled to and lived in developing countries, I increasingly felt that covering problems alone meant I was not telling the complete story. Despite tough conditions, I saw many people who came up with solutions. They were fixing problems, inventing new ways to tackle the issues they faced. I got inspired, and felt strongly that these parts of the story deserved and needed to be told too.”
Batist will lead the workshop, along with Positive News editor and co-founder of the Transformational Media Initiative, Seán Dagan Wood.
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Wood explained that constructive journalism presents a fuller picture of the world, one which is more empowering and engaging for audiences and is therefore more beneficial to society, as well as to people’s wellbeing.
He said: “A growing body of research is now showing the detrimental impacts of journalism that is relentlessly focused on the negative, and revealing the benefits for individuals and society of a more positive approach.
“By weaving more positive elements into conventional reporting – while maintaining high standards of quality, relevance and diversity – we can strengthen journalism’s commitment to truth and its ethical principles, and create a more constructive approach.”
The workshop is just the beginning. The pair plan to develop more comprehensive and detailed courses in the future, working with industry and academic institutions too.
Places cost £250 and can be booked at www.constructivejournalism.org
Photo title: Danielle Batist (l) and Seán Dagan Wood (r) are to run a new course on constructive journalism
Photo credit: © Nicola Slawson