Author. Campaigner. Optimist
Jodie Jackson is a news consumer-turned-author, who has spent the last decade researching the psychological impact of the news. Through her work, she has shown that the excessive negativity in the news creates a distorted and harmful picture of the world. Jodie believes that we need a better balance in the news and shows why we must widen the media lens to include stories of solutions, progress and development in order to improve our psychological & sociological wellbeing, the news industry and, ultimately, the world.
Jodie holds a Master’s in Positive Psychology and is a partner at The Constructive Journalism Project. Her widely cited research has led to speaking engagements at universities, organisations and media conferences around the world.
Jodie’s journey to author of You Are What You Read began in 2011, when she decided she could not bear to hear another depressing news story.
“I would switch radio stations as soon as I heard the beeps introducing the news bulletin. They sounded to me like alarm bells, warning me that something awful was coming.”
Some saw this decision not to listen to the news and see the world in all of its ugly existence as naïve, weak or extreme.
“This reaction that others had towards me made me feel that I must be damaged in some way, that there was something in me that was not strong enough or brave enough to see the world in all of its ugly existence”.
But Jodie did not – and still doesn’t – see the world as simply ugly.
“My experience of the world is that it is a remarkable and complex place, filled with adventure, imagination and kindness as well as cruelty, suffering, and injustice. I could understand that the world had its flaws but I did not and could not agree with the picture that I was being given by reading the news. I came to realise it was not me but the news industry that was damaged”.
It was at this point, that Jodie asked “How could I remain informed on what’s going on in the world without being totally overwhelmed and depressed by it?”
It was this question that led to Jodie’s increasing involvement in the Constructive Journalism movement.
Over the past ten years Jodie has contributed to that movement in various ways, including: running a website collating solutions-focused journalism; organising events and crowdfunding campaigns; writing for established and emerging platforms; speaking on panels with leading thinkers, academics and journalists; conducting her own widely-referenced research into the effects of the news bias on consumers; and now writing You Are What You Read.