After 22 years in newspaper format, Positive News is relaunching as a ‘constructive journalism’ magazine following a successful crowdfunding campaign last year
The new Positive News magazine, which showcases rigorous journalism about progress and possibility, will be unveiled at an event in east London on 4 February.
After 22 years at the forefront of reporting positive stories, Positive News’ relaunch takes place as the concept of ‘constructive journalism’ gathers pace globally.
The 84-page magazine has been designed as a higher quality publication, which brings together inspiring content and design.
Published quarterly, the first issue in the new format features content such as an on-the-ground report about women promoting human rights in the face of extremism in Pakistan; an exploration of how democracy could become more effective in the digital age; and a range of inspiring lifestyle articles.
Several new regular sections will be included, such as the Constructive Conversation, in which two thought leaders are challenged to find common ground; the Solutions Lab, which unearths forward-thinking responses to difficult social issues; and What Happened Next?, which updates stories reported previously.
We wanted to move to a less disposable format in print; one where the quality of the design matches that of the content
Positive News relaunch editor Danielle Batist said: “Our new magazine shows that good journalism can also be about the good things that are happening. We don’t stop at highlighting a problem but use that as a starting point before asking what’s being done about it. We then investigate solutions critically, moving beyond the hero tale or happy story, to uncover socially relevant insights into what’s going well in the world.”
The relaunch comes after Positive News became the first global media co-operative financed through crowdfunding. Following its 30-day #OwnTheMedia campaign in July 2015, it is now co-owned by 1,526 readers, journalists and supporters from 33 countries. The £263,000 investment raised by the ‘community share offer’, is enabling Positive News to roll out a new business model. The aim is to grow its reach and make the print and digital publication financially sustainable long-term, with the move to a magazine just one part of this.
Positive News editor-in-chief, Seán Dagan Wood, said: “The relaunch marks an exciting and important step for our journalism and our community-supported model as we grow our impact. There is both a demand and a need in society for intelligent coverage of positive developments, and an opportunity for it in the shifting media landscape.
“We wanted to move to a less disposable format in print; one in which the quality of the design matches that of the content. Though some news publications are struggling in print, with the overload of information online we feel there’s huge value in a carefully curated, quarterly print magazine, which offers a uniquely inspiring lens on the world. So, we’ve created something that we hope is a beautiful vessel for beautiful stories.”
The magazine hits the shelves at a time of increasing interest from other media outlets in Positive News’ approach. Attention has been captured by evidence of how positive and constructive stories are engaging audiences.
Since launching in 2014, Positive News’ training arm, the Constructive Journalism Project, has delivered workshops to journalists internationally, as well as to hundreds of journalism students across the UK. Drawing upon research into the psychological impact of news, the workshops cover techniques such as how to find positive story angles while remaining critical.
Meanwhile platforms such as the Huffington Post’s ‘What’s Working’ section and Netherlands-based digital start-up De Correspondent are among those advocating the constructive journalism approach.
Wood added: “Creating this magazine was only possible with the incredible support of our co-owners, who backed our #OwnTheMedia crowdfunding campaign, and our audience who subscribe as members of Positive News. We are hugely grateful to them for believing in our publication’s purpose and value, and acting to support it. We look forward to hearing their response to the new magazine.”
The title will be distributed directly to Positive News members, as well as being available through selected independent shops, with plans to expand distribution throughout 2016.
The Positive News website will also be getting a fresh look when the magazine launches on 4 February, while a more substantial rebuild of the site is in planning.
To get Positive News magazine delivered to your door four times a year, sign up to become a member.
Positive News magazine will be unveiled at an exclusive relaunch event in east London on 4 February. For press and industry attendance requests, please contact us.
Photo title: The front cover of the relaunch issue of Positive News
Photo credit: © Positive News