The Guardian is one of the pioneers in constructive journalism. Known to be an independent newspaper that boasts surveys and articles not conditioned by commercial or political logic, a year and a half ago The Guardian has launched a pilot project to tell people the good news in our world. The goal was to observe the behaviour of readers.
Mark Rice-Oxley, responsible for the project dedicated to constructive journalism, made some interesting considerations.
“When we write something that works, something bizarre happens: people notice it. News that are good, are read from the top to the very end, they are shared and they generate a positive and well-being effect on social media. Then people write to us to thank us”.
In this year and a half, The Guardian published about 150 articles that generated the effect described by Rice-Oxley which led to the creation of a section of the journal dedicated to constructive journalism: The Upside.
This experiment has reached an important conclusion: the news does not have to be negative. The world in which we live is certainly complex and media gives us facts and stories that can really make us lose our trust in a better world. But next to conflicts, tragedies, horror, disasters and violence there is a world full of answers and stories that show commitment and dedication. There is curiosity, compassion and empathy. There are movements voted to kindness and a lot of innovation.
The news we read is only one of the points of view. This has no relation compared to the real balance between bad and good news. When good news is told, people tend to respond in a positive way. It’s clear that readers are tired of bad news. This requires a more constructive journalism that looks at solutions rather than problems. A journalism that respects the reader and the news itself.