Constructive journalism is not a replacement for traditional journalism. It does not aspire to change the rules of the press or to condemn a way of proposing the news to the public. Constructive journalism is an alternative that joins journalism and starts with the basics of the profession deontology. Perhaps it’s the only one with the chance to raise the credibility of the media, but it is still a choice that has to be made or not made.
There is general tiredness of the reader towards the world as it is represented by journalists, but also a loss of passion on the part of those who write the news every day. The need for change is very evident. We need to pay attention to stories that point to solutions while telling a problem. We have to lower the angry tones of recent times and make people less cynical.
Media professionals are needed as a possible and immediate alternative in the short term. There are 3 main reasons that should encourage media workers to adopt constructive communication:
1. Looking at the future.
The common tendency, in the media, is to look at what has happened to bring back stories and events from the past. The news rarely brings attention to what to do from now on and to what’s the next step. Even more rarely future-oriented questions are being proposed. These questions, on the other hand, are the key to tell the news in a constructive way. We need to go beyond appearances, problems and difficulties. The reader needs to believe that a solution exists and that it is real.
2. Putting things in perspective.
The context in which news is told is fundamental and is part of the journalistic process. But the scenario can always be represented in different ways. It can take into account only one point of view or, on the other hand, multiple ones. It can be the picture of what we want to show to our reader. By using the keys of constructive journalism we can tell a more complete reality, more faithful to our world. Different perspectives are what allow us to really understand a situation.
3. Exit preconceptions.
People tend to read the news that reinforces their beliefs. Rarely they look for other sources. Adopting constructive journalism allows instead to tell the same facts from different points of view contributing to breaking down prejudice and encouraging the debate between people.
The society in which we live needs to review the parameters of communication. Talking to the people around us is enough to realize that we need hope, trust and the knowledge that we can do something. In fact, we can, but we often don’t know because we are never told that.
Translated by A.J.L. and revised by M.K.