Impact Journalism Day puts inspirational news in front of 50m readers

A new initiative in June saw newspapers around the world dedicate space to news that highlighted positive responses to global challenges

A greater number of inspiring stories made it to the media last month, thanks to the first ever Impact Journalism Day, which saw 20 national newspapers around the world dedicate space to news about positive developments.

On Saturday 22 June, papers in countries from Algeria to Canada, Brazil to Singapore – and many in between – published a range of positive stories, including pieces on backpacking philanthropists and Facebook’s impact on peace in the Middle East. The stories reached more than 50 million readers.

The Impact Journalism initiative, spearheaded by news aggregation service Sparknews, was launched last year by France’s Christian de Boisredon, who also co-founded Reporters d’Espoirs (Reporters of Hope).

The team provided partner papers with a package of 20 positive stories and then asked them to send their own reporters out to find the most inspiring innovations in their local areas. All articles were shared across dedicated ‘solutions’ pages in the publications.

“Stories like these are often hard to find,” said de Boisredon. “As the proverb says, ‘A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest’. Readers all over the world today are hungry for stories with a difference. Stories that bring hope and concrete solutions, at both a local and global level.

“We believe solutions-centered reporting will translate into a significant increase in sales for every partner paper,” he said.

No British paper took part in the initiative, but organisers say they are confident that one will come on board for next year’s event, where it is hoped 100 newspapers, TV and radio stations will be involved.

From 25-27 September this year, Sparknews will bring together partner editors to discuss the media’s role in creating change at the LH Forum (Movement for a Positive Economy) in Le Havre, France.