Policies & Politics

Published on October 26th, 2017 | by Jesper Berggreen

Journalism for Tomorrow — NOT Fake News

I must admit that I am very biased in my daily intake of news. In the era of the internet I have the freedom to choose my own channels. Like this one.

The radio is always on when I drive to work in the morning, but I usually only pay attention when there is information about traffic jams and accidents. Very rarely does the local radiostation cover news of interest to me, you know: climate, pollution, sustainable energy, ordinary stuff. However, this morning I heard something that was real news to me.

As it turns out Aarhus, Denmark is home for The Constructive Institute with focus on factual and balanced news. In the light of the new poll that shows that 46% of US voters believe the media is making up stories about Trump, this is a fresh breeze.

From the speakers of my car radio the voice of founder and director of The Constructive Institute Ulrik Haagerup makes a surprising point: “The goal of journalism is not just to be critical. The goal of journalism is to inform by being critical”.

It is always nice to start the day with a bit of sanity in a world of insanity, and when I got home after work I checked their website and found that their aim to promote this method of balanced constructive journalism just might be an antidote to the insanity:

Constructive journalism is a response to increasing tabloidization, sensationalism and negativity bias of the news media today. It is an approach that aims to provide audiences with a fair, accurate and contextualised picture of the world, without over emphasising the negative and what is going wrong. While a healthy dose of negativity in the press is undoubtedly necessary, the chronic overexposure of negative constitutes a hidden media bias that has an erosive effect on the societies we live in.

Thank you. As I write this, the institute is host to an international conference on constructive journalism with attendance of reporters, editors, media executives, scientists and politicians at Aarhus University.

One of the speakers is Steven Pinker, and I am quite annoyed that I had not heard about this event in time. I would have loved to hear him talk about the surprising decline of violence and suffering in the world as a whole.

Still, I am glad I had the radio on.

therealbias

Photo credit: constructiveinstitute.org

 


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About the Author

Jesper Berggreen had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic, in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk.



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