Constructive Journalism, a solution for today’s crisis in media?

Constructive Journalism, a solution for today’s crisis in media?

Is there a crisis in today’s journalism? People tend to read less newspapers and use social media as  their news source instead. A lot of people have stopped trusting news reports delivered by mainstream media.

Furthermore, hard news and serious television programmes often make their audience feel despondent and apathetic. Research shows that negative newspaper articles create a false sense of danger and cause consumers to disengage from the news and the world around them altogether.

Constructive Journalism (or solutions journalism) tries to restore the balance between truth and perspective. By not only focussing on the problem but also defining possible solutions the reader is empowered, resulting in a sense of loyalty to the news brands that provide this type of journalism.

Is Constructive Journalism the final answer to today’s challenges? What can we learn from Dutch examples like De Correspondent and VPRO’s Tegenlicht?

We’ll discuss this topic with Cathrine Gyldensted, Karel Smouter, Eline Huisman and Thomas Bruning. Moderator is Roos van Tongerloo.


Cathrine Gyldensted is a leading Danish journalist and originator of Constructive Journalism. She has worked for Danish television and has a column in the English newspaper The Guardian and on The Huffington Post. Gyldensted has accepted the position of ‘Constructive Journalism Director’ at Hogeschool Windesheim in Zwolle.

Karel Smouter is assistant chief editor of De Correspondent since August 2015. He co-founded Butch & Sundance Media and has been chief editor of De Nieuwe Koers. Smouter also wrote Eenmaal Oranje, over eeuwige debutanten van het Nederlands elftal (2012).

Eline Huisman is a Dutch freelance (research) journalist. She has studied International Relations in both Nijmegen and Aix-en-Provence and has worked for De Volkskrant and Vice Versa. Together with Ariejan Kortweg she investigated the Dutch lobbyists in The Hague. Their book Lobbyland. De geheime krachten van Den Haag will appear in November.

Thomas Bruning is secretary general of NVJ, the Dutch trade union for journalists. He has studied Law in Amsterdam and has a wide range of management positions in a number of the Dutch journalist and media organisations.

Moderator Roos van Tongerloo is journalist and web editor of the monthly Vrij Nederland.

The 6th annual Joost Divendal Lecture offers a platform to international speakers who take a critical stance toward current journalism. The lecture is held in honor of Joost Divendal (1955 -2010), the first director of De Nieuwe Liefde.  

Jodie Jackson on constructive journalism:
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