The launch initiative of the campaign “News can be dangerous. We want journalism of solutions, not journalism of fear” was organized by the Italian Association of Constructive Journalism and TBWA\Italy (communication agency), the creator of the project. The newsstand will be entirely set up with fake weapons, instead of traditional editorial products, precisely to symbolize the power and strength of the media, especially in this era of fake news and massive use of social networks to find news, which with the pandemic has generated anxiety and fear by bringing out all the vulnerable traits of the news system.
The description and the story in a sensationalist, alarmist way with sometimes “screamed” titles can in fact create an altered and potentially dangerous state of judgment. This is why the choice of weapons as a symbol of the campaign.
The aim of the initiative is precisely to raise awareness of the entire news supply chain, in which trust is today at an all-time low (source: Edelman Trust Barometer 2021), bringing back to the center the values and mission of the media, as guarantors of true, correct and in-depth news.
News that has been seen in the last two decades favors a narrative aimed more at the belly of people, than at rationality and critical thinking with news that, riding on fear, has induced in users a sense of insecurity, apathy, anxiety, and concern and disaffection with the media.
Information leaflets will be distributed at the newsstand and a petition will be launched addressed to the new president of the National Council of the Order of Journalists, to the new president of RAI Marinella Soldi, to the new president of RAI Carlo Fuortes, to the president of FIEG, the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers, Andrea Riffeser Monti, and to all the editors and directors of radio and television broadcasters and newspapers. The petition aims to ask for a new approach to be adopted in communicating news, that is, in a less dramatic, more balanced, more representative way of reality. In other words, more constructive.
“Many major newspapers across the border – declares Silvio Malvolti, president of the Italian Constructive Journalism Association – including several northern European state TVs, have understood for several years the importance of adopting a more objective approach, broadening their gaze beyond the problems, also telling the solutions by radically changing the storytelling of the news. In other words, they have chosen more constructive journalism, more respectful towards their users, regaining the trust and the audience lost in decades of bad news”. (Source: Engaging News Project, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, University of Texas).
“As communicators, we feel and have the duty to contribute to the important causes of our society: it is one of the great possibilities of our work and we at TBWA are at the forefront with all our energies, whenever there is an opportunity to to do it – declares Mirco Pagano, Chief Creative Officer TBWA\Italy – This is why we have made the cause of the Italian Association of Constructive Journalism our own so that no one finds himself a victim of anxiety and fear, often caused by bad news. We know the power of words well and we believe that giving visibility to such an important but latent problem can contribute to improving the vision of the world we live in and in which we want to continue to hope “.
Faced with constantly screaming headlines about crisis, corruption, violence, and scandals, many people even decide not to inform themselves anymore (source: Digital News Report, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University). This is not only bad for the publishing and journalism industry, it harms democracy and society as a whole by destroying people’s energy, trust, and even health, making it harder for anyone to imagine a better world.
According to various studies, surveys and polls by prestigious universities and research institutes, collected and analyzed by the Association, the social impact that news can have is enormous as well as the responsibility of the mass media, which are precisely the “mediators”, but also the “amplifiers” of words, tones, messages that reach people.
The responsibility of the mass media in the exercise of their function, that is to inform citizens as objectively and adherent to reality as possible and in compliance with the duties and ethics of the journalistic profession is crucial for a properly informed society. , healthy, active, and democratic.
Find out more and sign the petition yourself.
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