Hellenic Institute of Constructive Journalism


International research has shown that people increasingly detest the news because it presents a one-sided, distorted picture of the world and makes them feel hopeless and passive toward the facts presented. If we ask people about the state they think the world is in, many, most perhaps, will answer that the world is getting worse and more violent. Is that the truth, though?




"As negativity controls the flow of news for decades now, politics and public debate are also affected by it", notes Hans Henrik Knoop, President of the European Network for Positive Psychology. "As a result, apathy makes people not only not choose the media as news sources, but also withdraw from public debate as a whole".


In addition, the public is increasingly distrustful of news organizations, considering them biased in their coverage of events, which prompts them to turn to social media for information and thus being more susceptible to misinformation.

Trust, commitment, and better decisions

Trust in journalistic organizations can be regained, and Constructive Journalism can make a significant contribution to that. News organizations around the world that have adopted the principles of Constructive Journalism have improved their audience confidence rates by presenting "the whole story", with its positive and negative facets, rather than an inconclusive part or a distorted perception of it.

Constructive Journalism benefits not only journalistic organizations but also the individuals and society itself, since it mobilizes and inspires the public, highlighting "everything that's going smoothly", even when dealing with a negative topic. Thus, people feel that there is hope and are motivated to act and be part of the solution to the problem.

According to many neuroscientists, there is evidence that bad news can be detrimental to the human brain. «The cognizance that the world is negative and problematic creates a chronic stress response that hinders our ability to solve problems", they conclude.

Furthermore, journalism that emphasizes solutions, perspective, vision, and potential partnerships is more likely to lead to policy decisions on challenges like climate change.


What research shows

Research shows that when people believe that the world can be better and are empowered to feel that they can make a difference, they are more likely to engage in practice to achieve that improvement.

Additionally, a lot of studies affirm that the public prefers stories that offer solutions alongside problems, shares such stories with their network more often, and shows a greater preference for media that present the news according to the principles of Constructive Journalism..

"The public clearly wants potential solutions to be part of the picture just as much as the problems themselves." (ELLEN HEINRICHS)

Studies have indicated that audiences feel better informed and more optimistic after reading stories that offer solutions, that they are more likely to seek out media that provide constructive coverage of the news, and are much more likely to share stories that trigger positive emotions.

In fact, a survey by the BBC's World Service showed that young people are particularly keen on solutions-focused news.

Studies even suggest that the public is more likely to buy a product if its ad is framed by a positive news story than a negative one.

Constructive Journalism proponents also argue that it presents a more accurate picture of the world by telling the whole story, that it can increase confidence in journalism because people see themselves portrayed more truthfully in the news, and that it makes it more likely for people to engage in addressing problems. They also say it increases the accountability of those in power and has a greater impact on bringing about change. 

Dr. Anastasios Stalikas, Professor of Psychology at Panteion University and President of the Hellenic Society of Positive Psychology, explains the consequences of negative news on the individual and society as well as the benefits that can be derived from Constructive Journalism...

Constructive Journalism is focused on tomorrow. It can help facilitate discussion of a better future, sustainable for all.