“Bad news” often sells better than “good news”. When it comes to public media criticism, that is a prevailing opinion. Constructive journalism allows a different view of world events. Seems to be the alternative to headline journalism.
What is Constructive Journalism?
Television and radio news, newspapers, magazines, and online media seem to be all looking at the negative. In journalists’ jargon, people used to speak of “red and blue light topics”, comparable to the content in the classic boulevard. It’s primarily about accidents, murder, and manslaughter. You learn a lot about strikes and bankruptcies, corruption and scandals, crises, conflicts, and wars.
Christin Fink writes in the publication “Positive Journalism” (Ed. Deutscher Fachjournalisten-Verband / Halem Verlag ): “In comparison, reports about victories, progress, and growth or even words of praise about good politics seem much rarer. Mainstream journalism is – so it gives the impression – predominantly negative. ”
Let us remember Erich Kästner (writer and journalist) in this context. He said on the subject: “If Mr. Müller is a decent guy, nobody wants to know. But if Mr. Müller pours water into the milk and sells the drink as sweet cream, then it will be in the newspaper. ”
The former WDR director Friedrich Nowottny wrote in an article in 1988: “For me, journalism is fundamentally critical, otherwise it would be irrelevant. Well researched, fully disclosed facts. ”
News websites, blogs, and the mass chirping on Twitter are mutually reinforcing. A small wave of news quickly turns into a tsunami.
Constructive journalism is not always positive journalism that deals more with good news and uses more linguistically friendly formulations. Constructive journalism also portrays the problem before suggesting solutions or possible solutions.
At times many companies like towing service San Jose want to make use of positive journalism. However, when placed in a bad light, a constructive journalism approach is preferable.
The traditional media machinery is completely geared towards scandals and problems, criticizes Ulrik Haagerup, director of the news on Danish television and author of the book “Constructive News: Why bad news is destroying the media and how journalists touch people again with a completely new approach”.
“We think the only good stories are stories about conflict, drama, criminals, and victims. That is the reason why Donald Trump, for example, is so successful, because he uses exactly these mechanisms, delivers conflict, drama, criminals, and victims. ”
Ulrik Haagerup plays with journalistic truths: “Forget the phrase ‘bad news is good news’. Replace it with ‘turn bad news into good news’. ”
Constructive journalism aims to educate, analyze, inform, and at the same time tell stories. Stories that help make the world a little more liveable and fit for the future.
It is known from positive psychology: When people use their strengths, they are happier and more successful and infect others with their ideas. Constructive journalism would like to accompany and critically observe this process.
But journalism is more than that. Journalism turns news into stories. That can also provide solutions.