The new Positive News magazine is out now. Acting editor Daisy Greenwell picks out some of her highlights, including a candid interview with Mark Rylance and a credible solution to homelessness
“Where do you get your stories?” It’s the question I’m asked the most; “It must be tricky finding enough good news to fill a whole magazine,” they often add.
We’re so used to news being bad, that we’ve come to believe that that’s what news is – and more worryingly, that it’s an accurate reflection of the world.
It was the same in the traditional newsroom where I spent the last decade. Positive stories weren’t counted as ‘news’, or important enough to merit column inches. The old journalistic rule ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, was the guiding principle. We humans are wired to notice the bad to ensure our survival, so things that prompt our anxieties sell newspapers and drive clicks.
You’ll be well aware of what’s going wrong in the world – from the cost of living crisis to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the rapidly escalating climate emergency – but the truth is, there’s no shortage of good news, either (as subscribers to our newsletter will attest). It’s happening all around us every day, from Burnley to Bolivia.
So we aren’t scratching around looking for stories; there’s always an abundance of good news that doesn’t make the cut for the magazine. What you’ll read in the October–December issue of Positive News magazine are the cherry pickings from the past quarter.
For example, did you know that a handful of cities around the world are on track to all-but eradicate homelessness? Using a remarkably simple policy dreamed up by a psychologist in the 1990s, cities from Helsinki to Houston are edging closer to solving what was once thought to be an inevitable tragedy of urban life.
We’ve also profiled Indigenous leaders across the globe who are winning huge victories for the planet against all odds, protecting millions of acres of wilderness from gold mining, dams and oil drilling.
Closer to home, you might have thought that microwaves were only for heating up cold cups of tea. But as energy bills soar, they’re finally having their moment. Not only are they the cheapest way to cook, they’re also one of the best, according to the Michelin-starred chefs we spoke to for this issue.
We aren’t scratching around looking for stories; there’s always an abundance of good news
And finally, our cover star. In a startlingly honest interview, Mark Rylance opens up about trauma, abuse, grief and addiction, and the decade of therapy that has helped him to process it. As he reflects on the positives that come from “acceptance of darkness”, his commitment to using his position to change the world for the better is striking.
His solution to the overwhelm of seemingly endless bad news? “Little positive steps. We’re put off by the enormity of it, but with little steps we will get there.”
I hope that the articles in the new issue help you to take your own small steps forward.