Image for 30 years of good news that matters: Positive News celebrates milestone year

30 years of good news that matters: Positive News celebrates milestone year

We share the highlights of the journey so far, as Positive News celebrates three decades of breaking the bad news bias

We share the highlights of the journey so far, as Positive News celebrates three decades of breaking the bad news bias

Thirty years ago, before wifi and mobile internet even existed, an unusual newspaper began to be handed out across the UK to bewildered members of the public. At that time, ‘news’ was just assumed to be ‘bad news’, no question. But this radical newspaper was titled Positive News, and it contained no doom and zero gloom. Instead, every story was about progress and possibilities for positive change.

Now, three decades later, Positive News is a media brand reaching millions across its digital channels and print magazine, while also leading a quiet revolution within the news industry towards reporting on solutions.

“Good news used to be dismissed as irrelevant,” says Positive News CEO, Seán Wood. “But now, many people are overwhelmed by bad news and turning away from it. At the same time, there’s an acute need to give our collective attention to potential solutions to the world’s problems.”

3 ways to support Positive News today
#1 of 3

Buy a Christmas gift subscription

Packed with uplifting stories about the things that are going right in the world, Positive News magazine is a perspective-shifting present that challenges the negative news cycle – and there’s still time to buy a subscription as a Christmas gift. Recipients of our gift subscriptions receive four copies of our certified carbon neutral magazine throughout the year, along with access to our digital archive.

 

By combining rigorous journalistic standards with a focus on what’s going right in the world, Positive News has proven that news can be uplifting while remaining trustworthy and socially relevant, says Wood.

“With three decades of inspirational reporting under our belts, an ever-growing audience and an expanding community of support, we’re showing that good news matters. And it’s great to see that alongside essential problem-focused reporting, other media professionals and news sites are now also taking a ‘solutions journalism’ approach and running with it.”

Positive News’ progress and longevity has been made possible by its dedicated community of support, which has always been at the heart of the organisation as an independent and not-for-profit publisher.

“Our readers share a spirit of optimism, and a belief that what we focus on in life makes a difference to what happens next,” says Wood. “We’re deeply grateful to all our readers and supporters, whose financial backing has sustained Positive News and is now helping us grow the reach and impact of our journalism.”

He adds: “We’re looking forward to continuing to uncover the most uplifting and useful stories we can find; because the world needs some positive news.”

A brief timeline of 30 years of Positive News

positive news 30 years
1990s

Positive News is founded in 1993 in Shropshire, UK, by Shauna Crockett-Burrows. Published as a free quarterly newspaper, by 1995, Positive News reaches a circulation of 50,000 copies that are distributed by volunteers, to cafes, shops and public spaces.

2012

Positive News’ founder dies, aged 81. Sean Wood takes stewardship as the new director. Having lost significant philanthropic funding connected to its founder, the organisation faces critical financial challenges. Planning begins on rebuilding Positive News as a self-sustaining business.

 

30 years
2013

​​Positive News relocates to a co-working space for social enterprises in London. Former BBC newsreader Sir Martyn Lewis becomes patron, having stirred controversy in the media industry by saying that solutions should be given a “fair hearing” in the news.

Image: Rebecca Fennell (NCVO London)

positive news 30 years
2014

Positive News partners in the launch of the Constructive Journalism Project, a media training initiative (co-founded with Danielle Batist, pictured). The project goes on to deliver workshops and consultancy worldwide.

2015

Positive News becomes a co-operative. Through its #OwnTheMedia crowdfunding campaign the organisation raises more than £260,000 in community shares, welcoming 1,526 co-owners from around the globe. The investment funds Positive News while it grows to become financially sustainable.

2016

Michael Møller, then-director general at the United Nations Office at Geneva, meets with Positive News and editors from some of the UK’s biggest media outlets including tabloids, to discuss the need for more solutions-focused news.

3 ways to support Positive News today
#2 of 3

Become a supporter

If you want to see more good news stories in the world, please consider joining us as a Positive News supporter. Quality journalism comes at a cost, so your monthly contribution will help us to fund more of our solutions-focused reporting. Join our community who are helping our uplifting stories reach more people, while we show the rest of the media that the news doesn’t need to be so negative. 

 

30 years
2016

Positive News relaunches with refreshed branding, a new website, and the print publication (formerly a newspaper) becomes a high quality and certified carbon neutral magazine. A new business model opens up revenue through magazine subscriptions and sales, brand partnerships and reader contributions.

2018

Lucy Purdy, editor-in-chief of Positive News, is shortlisted as editor of the year at the Stack Awards for independent magazines.

positive news 30 years
2018

Positive News magazine becomes available in selected WHSmith shops across the UK. This is made possible by readers who contributed towards the upfront costs of being stocked by the high street retailer. The magazine is taken up by other retailers.

2020

The Covid-19 pandemic leads to a surge in demand for positive news stories. The team crowdfunds £15,000 to distribute copies of Positive News magazine to NHS workers.

2020

Having adapted during the pandemic, Positive News becomes a remote working organisation with no central office. As the team grows, employees are able to work and be recruited from across the UK, with freelance contributors globally.

2021

With annual revenue having grown fourfold since relaunch, Positive News reaches financial sustainability.

2022

As the Reuters Institute reveals that 46 per cent of people in the UK are avoiding the news because of how it impacts their mood, Positive News editor Daisy Greenwell is invited on to BBC World News to talk about the importance of solutions journalism.

support positive news
2022

A successful supporter campaign brings 800 new monthly supporters on board, in line with efforts to drive Positive News’ growth and impact by attracting more income from the outlet’s significant and growing online audience.

2023

Positive News is awarded a grant through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator to create a series exploring mental health provision in the developing world.

Image: Khadija Farah

2023

Now reaching an annual audience of 3 million people, Positive News celebrates 30 years of pioneering solutions journalism.

3 ways to support Positive News today
#3 of 3

Subscribe to Positive News magazine in print

Each issue features informative, inspiring articles about social and environmental progress, with high-impact photography and beautiful visual design. Delivered to your door, it’s an opportunity to enjoy catching up on everything that’s going right in the world, without the distraction of online doomscrolling. Plus, Positive News is a certified carbon neutral magazine, printed in the UK on sustainably sourced paper.

 

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