Is News Negativity Driving Audiences Away?

Feb 2, 2024

New Thinking In Reality podcast

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David Bornstein – Co-Founder of the Solutions Journalism Network

Your host:

Eric Schurenberg

Award-winning journalist and former CEO of Inc. and Fast Company

Journalism’s problems today are legion: collapsing business models, attacks from political partisans, divisions in the profession over basic questions like objectivity. But none of these is solvable until newsrooms address their troubled relationship with audiences: Too many people don’t believe journalists work in their interest. Many avoid news because they find it too pugilistic, too downbeat.

Today’s guest has spent the past decade and more addressing the all too real negativity bias in the news. He’s David Bornstein, co-founder with Tina Rosenberg of the Solutions Journalism network. Solutions Journalism diverts the news media’s relentless focus on conflict and turns a clear-eyed spotlight on people attempting to solve problems.

David and Eric discuss the difference between solutions journalism and local-hero feel-good reporting; we cover the generational change drawing young journalists away from news organizations and into personal branding; our profession’s addiction to covering politics like a horse race; and the role of solutions journalism in restoring trust in professional media.

In this episode we discuss:
  • Origin Story of Solution Journalism
  • The Decline of the Fixes Column
  • Negativity Bias in Journalism
  • Changing Newsroom Approaches
  • Generational Change in Journalism
  • Building Journalists’ Brand and Reputation
  • Inspiring Action through Solutions Journalism
  • Complementarity of Solutions and Investigative Journalism
  • Finding the Right Proportion of Solutions Stories
  • Covering Elections with Solutions Journalism
  • Addressing Issues of Truth and Trust
  • Challenges of Diametrically Opposed Belief Systems
  • The Impact of Solutions Journalism

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