We still love Constructive Journalism

In the second half of 2020 The Junction partnered with the Judith Neilson Institute and the Constructive Institute to raise awareness of Constructive Journalism in Australia.

Specifically we wanted to start conversations about it in university journalism classrooms and lecture halls and to bring the key ideas behind it to the next generation of journalists. These aims were matched by other media organisations, including the ABC that is also explicit about its adoption of the approach.

As a result of our collaboration, journalism students from across Australia wrote more than 130 stories with a constructive focus, we launched a podcast called Making a Difference, and we remain enthusiastic about this approach to journalism.

  • You can find our constructive journalism project here.
  • Our podcast, that is now ongoing and publishing episodes monthly, here.
  • And you’ll find the gist of constructive journalism permeating much of what we do.

What defines constructive journalism?

Firstly, the idea that news providers need to be of service to people seeking to improve the world. News can inform the next steps in the process towards a more fair and sustainable world.

Second, it is aware of the phenomena of news avoidance and therefore doesn’t give undue emphasis to downsides and fear inducing elements, when potential solutions could also be included.

Third, it continues the journalistic mission of seeking to tell the best available version of the truth.

You can click here to read a review of Ulrik Haagerup’s book Constructive News: How to save the media and democracy with journalism of tomorrow, written by Dr Asha Chand from the University of Western Sydney, and you can catch Asha’s explanation of the basic principles in this video.