Hellenic Institute of Constructive Journalism


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Journalism - consciously or unconsciously - is manipulation/shaping of (public) opinion. A journalist cannot make all the information in the world available to his audience, he always needs to filter it. For this purpose he uses certain criteria, for example in relation to the target group in question...

How and what he filters already influences the recipient's world view. For example, reporting 15 times a week on the financial crisis? Or maybe only once a month? The public's impression of the extent of the problem is influenced by how often a topic is presented in the media - completely independent of the actual facts reported...

The problem with this kind of influence: It often happens 'secretly/underground' and it is almost impossible to resist this influence. Even the most 'neutral phrasing' possible doesn't help. This is why we believe it is more transparent and appropriate for a journalist, based on his/her knowledge, to publish an assessment and substantiate it. For this substantiation, empirical and other evidence, the values behind the assessment and the discussion/presentation of the various arguments and opinions are needed. The journalist can and should take a position but without arguing one-sidedly...

On this basis, the audience is given the opportunity to form their own picture. It goes without saying that a one-sided presentation or expression of an opinion without providing arguments is not good journalism - neither in "classical" nor in Constructive Journalism...!

No! Constructive Journalism, like "classical" journalism, points out problems and addresses them. But it goes at least two steps further: in describing a problem, possible causes are also investigated AND possible solutions and visions are discussed. Key questions are: "Now what? How can this change or continue? How can it be improved?"

It doesn't present just 'good news' such as promoting 'heroes', or civil society organisations, simplistic, trivial or happy news.

No! -just like any other form of journalism...

Objectivity in journalism is a myth: the objectivity of the journalist ends already in the selection of a topic. The choice of sources, the questions asked to the person being interviewed - all these are subjective elements in research and the creation of reports/articles. Thus, every piece of reporting/article - no matter how objective it seems - affects our always subjective perception of the world.

Constructive journalism is reflected in the manner, not in the aspect of solutions that the author personally "finds best". Instead, critical approaches to solutions are analysed and critically presented, and the facts (and knowledge) on which they are based are examined in detail.

Absolutely right, at least in the short term... In constructive journalism the most important thing is not to offer complete solutions to every problem. Rather, it should be discussing approaches to solutions or presenting alternatives to the processes responsible for the problems. Engaging in raising questions about possible solutions is the decisive step - without merely criticizing the current status quo. Because discussing solutions is the first step on the long road to finding and implementing solutions that can evolve/change a society.