Will we see breakdown or breakthrough in 2017?, asks new issue of Positive News magazine

With a thematic focus on overcoming social divisions, the new issue of Positive News magazine features a cover illustration of a Muslim female superhero, and will launch at an event in London this month

Breakdown. Or breakthrough? is the theme of the new issue of Positive News magazine, which offers good journalism about good things.

The magazine will be showcased at an exhibition at KK Outlet in Shoreditch, London, on 12 – 22 January.

A launch event for the issue will also take place at the same venue on the evening of 20 January. The date was chosen to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. Characterised by political division, 2016 was widely regarded as a bad year. Positive News is challenging the news agenda with a different perspective for 2017.

The magazine takes a ‘constructive journalism’ approach, offering quality, independent reporting that focuses on stories of progress and possibility.

Positive News’ editors believe that the ‘doom and gloom’ news narrative no longer serves society. A more balanced and inspiring lens on the world is needed, they say, in order to heal social divisions and empower people to bring about change.

Get your copy of issue 88 of Positive News magazine at: positive.news/join

For the leading feature in the new issue (number 88 – 2017 first quarter), US writer Charles Eisenstein argues that “normal is coming unhinged”. Rather than let fear and hate dictate what happens next, he argues, this time of uncertainty and disruption also holds an opportunity to break through to a society of empathy.

Another key article reports on how comics are challenging social stereotypes and increasingly featuring new, everyday superheroes, who are more diverse and relatable. As such, to also tie into the ‘Breakdown. Or breakthrough?’ theme, the editors chose to put an illustration of Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, on the cover.

Editor-in-chief Sean Dagan Wood said: “With the American flag flying behind her, having a dynamic Muslim woman superhero on our cover represents how people are working to create a thriving and cooperative society in the face of divisive voices.”

The issue also reports on grassroots projects such as More United, which is crowdfunding support for MPs who commit to values such as tolerance, irrespective of their party; and it uncovers the banks attempting to flip the financial sector on its head to work for social benefit.

Establishing a constructive and compassionate mindset in the media will create a more fertile space for a truly thriving society

Among other stories, the issue also includes a Q&A with George Monbiot, a man known for his activism as much as his searing journalism; an image of hope from Mumbai’s red light district; a run-down of solutions to the housing crisis; a travel feature about the importance of wonder; and a beautiful infographic revealing intelligence within the natural world.

Those attending the magazine launch event on 20 January will meet Positive News editors, journalists, members and supporters; hear a panel discussion on the theme ‘breakdown or breakthrough’ with some of the people featured in the magazine; and enjoy an exhibition of some of the striking magazine spreads from the new issue.

“Establishing a constructive and compassionate mindset in the media will create a more fertile space for a truly thriving society,” said Positive News editor-in-chief Sean Dagan Wood. “We can share a new story of what it means to be alive at this time. A story that unleashes human potential instead of drowning it in a sea of anxiety and cynicism.”

Positive News offers a way to begin 2017 with some serious optimism.

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Positive News issue 88 cover image by Marvel