For a number of years I had been subconsciously disengaging with main stream media. I found it either negative and depressing, or crass and frivolous. My only option seemed to be to limit my intake. Therefore not really know what is going on. Not what I wanted.
I stumbled across a copy of Positive News and discovered the concept of “constructive journalism”. This refers to the way a topic is approached by a journalist. It will be in context, positive, balanced, and solutions focused. Our mainstream media (and that of many other western countries) has been increasing the purely negative stories produced in the last few decades. Research suggests that this is causing; disengagement with media, seeing the negative in others, exacerbation of mental health conditions such as anxiety, and isolation from wider society.
Positive news is not just cute stories about cats being rescued and Pandas breeding. It means that the positive, and solutions, parts of the story are included. It can also mean that challenging world events are followed up, at a later point, to show how they are being prevented happening again. Many amazing things are happening in the world to make things better. The mainstream media just chooses not to tell us about them!
I was offered the opportunity to participate in a qualitative MSc research study speaking to people involved with Positive News, including it’s readers. The interview took place over Skype and covered a wide range questions such as my thoughts on the media, what I used to consume, what I currently consume and why I subscribe to the publication Positive News. This experience really helped me to crystallise my feelings and thoughts on the issue in a way I hadn’t done before. You can read all about the findings in more detail here.
Some places I get my more balanced, and solutions focused, information from;
- Guardian Half Full
- BBC World Service – World Hacks (videos & podcast)
- As a subscriber but there is some free content;
- As a donor;
If you are interested in conscious media consumption, think about what organisations work in areas you are personally, or professionally, interested in. These are potential sources of trusted information. They should be much more balanced than mainstream media. We all have a choice in what we read and watch. For those in London, it may strengthen your resolve not to pick up a Metro, to know it is made by the same group who make the Daily Mail. See the #stopfundinghate campaign.