The movement

ABOUT THE MOVEMENT

The fast-growing ‘Solutions Journalism’ movement began as a way to counteract the negativity bias in the mainstream media, in order to restore a sense of balance and perspective in the news.

Solutions-focused news describes a way of reporting the same social issues and challenges we hear about in the mainstream news, but with a constructive approach that incorporates the ‘what’s being done?’ question into the news story itself rather than simply reporting on problems and failures before moving onto the next piece of bad news. It can be described as,

‘rigorous journalism that reports critically on tangible progress being made in order for us to understand how issues are being dealt with’.

Done well, Solutions Journalism requires more rigorous investigation than the average negative news story. Essentially, it is journalism at its best.

An important distinction: Solutions Journalism is not ‘feel good news’. It is not your random act of kindness story or fluffy kitten meme. Furthermore, reporting on solutions is not the same as denying problems; it is possible to recognise progress whilst being aware that a problem still exists.

So, at this point, it is useful to abandon the rhetoric of solutions versus problems and acknowledge the complex and interdependent relationship between these two things, recognising them to co-exist rather than compete. We need to notice achievements alongside failings in order to report on and understand the world more accurately. The aim of Solutions Journalism is to present a more holistic view of the world: a truer take on the human condition in all its completeness, both good and bad. Rather than seeing the world through the distorted lens of an excess of negativity, we should be better presented with the whole picture; this movement urges the news industry to widen their lens to include stories of strength as it does weakness, on successes as it does failures, on human excellence as it does human corruption and scandal, on solutions as it does problems, and on progress as it does recession.

The result of this balance is that our feelings of anger and injustice we experience from hearing about a problem are able to be transformed into something more constructive. By becoming aware of creative, innovative and courageous responses to society’s problems – even responses that have seen limited success – we are given a sense of hope and possibility. This can motivate us to challenge the problems facing the world rather than passively accepting them as inevitable and permanent. Essentially, by including reports on solutions it empowers readers to feel able to act on this information presented.

I would recommend that we all increase our intake of solutions journalism, not for the purpose of shielding ourselves from world’s problems, but to challenge ourselves to see what is possible in their presence. By learning from solutions, we can push past the rhetoric that the world ‘is the way that it is’ and see instead our constructive power to make a change.

Now is a great time to get involved, as more and more people are seeing the value in a fuller perspective and are seeking out Solutions Journalism where it already exists, and creating it where it doesn’t.

If you’ve come this far, don’t stop now. Be a part of the movement. Change your own media diet to include Solutions Journalism, stay informed and improve your sense of wellbeing along the way.

Not sure how?

Take a look at this Starter Kit for some ideas on how to begin.

This book should be required reading for anyone who consumes or produces news. Jackson details the many harmful, often unexamined, ‘side effects’ of our current news environment – and suggests avenues to protect ourselves and to improve journalism. An urgent call for reform

David Bornstein
CEO & Co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network

WATCH THE TRAILER

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

You Are What You Read” succinctly and effectively makes a convincing argument for the value of solutions-focused reporting. It takes a nuanced approach, which acknowledges there is a place for negative news. The way it discusses how to project optimism is fascinating and is something we need more of in our media.

Joseph Litcherman, editorial manager and writer of “Solutions Set” at “The Lenfest Institute“

An incredible, thought-provoking and important book that will give you the tools to navigate the rampant negativity on the news. Jodie Jackson provides insights and tools to help you stay informed without getting depressed. A must-read!

Michelle Gielan, Bestselling Author of Broadcasting Happiness

‘You Are What You Read’ is an incredibly unique and thought provoking book which explains the impact that the news has on our mental health and gives an insight on how we can inform ourselves, whilst avoiding the negative impacts of our current news environment. In a world of tragedy, misinformation, media manipulation and the relentless demonisation of societies, understanding the benefits of solutions journalism helps us all to change narratives and regain faith in credible journalism!

Hacked Off

News consumers will feel energized and empowered by especially the last chapter of “You Are What You Read.” This chapter details what everyday readers can do to better inform themselves while nurturing a more productive news environment.

Steven Youngblood, Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism; author “Peace Journalism Principles and Practices”

The news is bad for you. It’s time to radically change the production and the consumption of media. Jodie Jackson’s brilliant book shows how

Rolf Dobelli, Bestselling author of “The Art of Thinking Clearly”

Jodie Jackson makes a compelling case for why we need to question our news diet, and how it distorts the way we see the world. Let’s hope her book inspires more solutions-based news and positive thinking!

Lily Cole, Co-founder of Impossible

An inspiring call to arms to overcome the negativity bias in our news media. Refreshing, well-researched, balanced and hopeful. Let’s make it happen

Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness

Using well-researched examples, this book powerfully demonstrates the importance of solutions journalism as a way to create better balance, make us better-informed and both empower and inspire us to solve the problems facing our world.

Michael Moller, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Well written, thoroughly researched and elegantly presented: This is a truly important book that gives, for the first time, a voice to the frustrated news consumer. Jodie Jackson shows that the real power in changing democracy depends not only on attention seeking politicians, publishers and cynical journalists chasing clicks and shares. It rests with the news consumer. This book shows that the kind of journalism we reward with our time, money and attention will determine the future of journalism, media, and democracy.

Ulrik Haargerup, Founder and CEO of Constructive Institute.

The idea that the media’s window on the world does not distort or does not matter is absurd. That it is so negative is clearly dangerous. It promotes overreaction, conflict, violence. Here is a crisp, refreshing analysis, full of warnings and full of solutions.

Simon Jenkins – Journalist, Author and former editor of The Times

The evidence shows that people are not just depressed by the gusher of crises and outrages that make up today’s news. They’re misinformed, and hold demonstrably false beliefs about the state of the world. Jodie Jackson’s timely and engaging look at contemporary journalism is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary journalism and its role in fostering accurate knowledge and responsible citizenship.

Steven Pinker, Harvard University, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now

This book should be required reading for anyone who consumes or produces news. Jackson details the many harmful, often unexamined, ‘side effects’ of our current news environment – and suggests avenues to protect ourselves and to improve journalism. An urgent call for reform.

David Bornstein, CEO & Co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network

As media organisations globally are starting to embrace constructive journalism, Jodie fulfills a crucial role by engaging and empowering not just those who make the news, but all of us. If ‘You Are What You Read’ is about consuming stories that are good for you, then this very book is a great place to start.

Danielle Batist, Journalist and Co-Founder, The Constructive Journalism Project

Why do we think that the world is falling apart in the era of the greatest progress mankind has seen? Because our worldview is formed by the news, and as Jodie Jackson explains in this important book, the media is biased towards the negative and sensational. But don’t despair, you can change your media diet, and Jodie Jackson knows how to do it. Good news, at last!

Johan Norberg, Author, Progress: 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future