Our Global Constructive Journalism Conference will be held on the 15th and 16th December.
What is constructive journalism and why do we need it? Live panels and talks from Aarhus lay out the problem the news media faces and how we collectively can build a journalism for tomorrow.
The British news media is respected worldwide for some of the best journalism there is. At the same time the last few years has seen an increasingly divided political and news media landscape which is strikingly negative and often resorts to sensationalist headlines and political point scoring rather than calm and curious discussion. We explore the UK’s lessons for the world learning from journalism leaders, hearing from news consumers and digging into the data.
In Brazil, as in the US, the news media has been declared an “enemy of the people” by the government. In an increasingly polarized political landscape how can newsrooms continue to serve the public interest? How can journalists avoid an overwhelming negative news focus and instead address constructive solutions to the country’s challenges? What role can reporters play in facilitating calm and curious conversation between those in power and news audiences with different political standpoints?
Investigative Journalism is one of the hall marks of respected journalism holding truth to power and exposing corruption, but can investigative reporting be constructive? Our panel thinks so. Respected award winning investigative reporters from Denmark, Germany and the US discuss their work and explain why it is important to go beyond exposing society’s problems.
As local newspapers have closed across the US, more and more communities are left with no daily local news outlet at all. Beyond the losses of livelihood to thousands of journalists (in 2018 journalists lost more jobs than coal miners) what is the problem with news deserts and what can be done about them?
In an age of digital disruption technology platforms such as Google and Facebook are often gatekeepers between news content and news audiences. What role should global technology companies play in enabling citizens to access the best obtainable version of the truth? What approaches are being explored by these influential connectors to surface quality journalism with nuance and perspective over sensationalist and outrageous content which spreads fake news and mistrust?
The changing climate is one of the biggest stories of our time but journalists have struggled to convey an issue with such a gradual impact and whose consequences lie in tomorrow. Some journalism outlets seek to show the climate as “crisis“ and the news media in a fight with corporations and governments who have a vested interests in the status quo. But are there alternative approaches? Can journalists play a role in showing small incremental local impacts rather dramatic images, outlining solutions and offering hope for ways forward?
In 2019 the world looked on with shock and horror at the rolling coverage of a terrorist attack in a New Zealand mosque. As the country became frontpage news both the government and news media put the focus on the rights and impact on the victims rather than the motives of the terrorists. A group of senior editors representing major outlets agreed editorial guidelines for reporting the trial. We will hold an international discussion to look at what can learnt from this and how journalists can avoid “being a useful idiot for terrorists”.
From the heart Australian politics this panel will look at the impact of a journalistic focus on politics and politicians. We will discuss how an emphasis on aggressive pundits and sensational sound bytes cripples political conversation, handing the microphone only to loudest and most shocking and drowning out thoughtful analysis, collaboration and ways forward.
The coronavirus pandemic has put journalism to the test. Since the start of the global outbreak, millions of scared, confused and isolated citizens from Milan to Melbourne and Michigan have turned to traditional media outlets for information free from the lies, half-truths, rumors and fake news. In many countries news media have seen page views for their online news sites double. What have we learned, and how do we avoid returning to bad newsroom habits that — already before this crisis — eroded trust in journalism and in democracy?
How can journalism “bridge” deep political differences and identities and find “common ground”. Are there limits to inclusion? What about societies where conflict and violence lays the foundation for deep suspicion and stereotypes? We learn from both journalism projects and mediation experts outside the news industry.
How can Africa’s young journalists tell Africa’s story better and why should they lead this change? As young Africans continue to risk their lives crossing to Europe in search of a better imagined future how can journalists convey the possibilities that exist within the continent? How can they offer the best obtainable version of the truth; showing Africa neither as a hopeless continent but also not falling for a simplistic Africa Rising narrative?
We collate the lessons learnt from journalism around the world in the last 24 hours and hear from change makers in industries beyond the news media. Industries from fashion to food are turning away from fast, damaging and unethical practices and finding profit in their pivot. What can newsrooms and journalists do going forward to ensure that our businesses sustain society for future generations?
The conference will bring together key players with the potential to impact the future of journalism from all over the world.
Among others we will be hearing from …
PETER DAMGAARD KRISTENSEM
CFOO, Constructive Institute
Independent Documentary Photojournalist
CEO and co-founder Spaceship Media
Independent Documentary Photographer
Vice President of Practice Change
Campaigner, Researcher and Author of the book ‘You Are What You Read
The conference will travel around the world digitally, led by the next generation of journalists who will hold interactive sessions covering issues from their region.
Among others we will meet …
Journalist, Universo Online (UOL), São Paulo, Brazil
Journalism Student, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
GOURI S. DEV
Christ Nagar College Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India