Journalism can offer so much more than coverage of the status quo: It can also point out solutions. Therefore DW Akademie and its partners have initiated the Constructive Journalism Lab.
The media plays a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic. News reports provide facts, figures and up-to-date information, demand accountability and point to grievances. These are vital elements of reporting, but often follow the motto where it bleeds it leads.
This has a downside: Some viewers argue that these types of reports make them feel depressed and thus try to avoid traditional media. News avoidance is a trend that has been growing in recent years and has become particularly noticeable during the pandemic. Scientists talk about coronavirus stress syndrome to describe the anxiety and panic caused by constant media coverage of the illness.
DW Akademie strongly believes that media has the potential to do much more than report on the negative – even in times of a pandemic. Another role of media can be to conduct constructive journalism. This means to point out solutions, portray inspiring changemakers and report on ways to come out of the crisis. It is a future-oriented, nuanced form of journalism that offers a new mindset and broadens the horizon of its audience. This is a role to which not many media outlets are living up to, although a lot of users and viewers are looking precisely for this kind of orientation.
This is why DW Akademie has started the Constructive Journalism Lab: Moving Media Forward. It is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the initiative “Transparency and Media Freedom – Crisis Resilience in the Global Pandemic”.
The Constructive Journalism Lab focuses on Africa and the MENA region and comprises various elements:
- DW Akademie is working to put together a network of like-minded, constructive thinkers from Africa and the MENA region to develop innovative and hands-on training modules for constructive journalism and visual reporting.
- After developing the training modules, we are offering a four-month fellowship for 15 TV, multimedia and video journalists, photographers and documentary filmmakers from the MENA region and Africa. In this fellowship, we will provide advanced training through a series of online workshops. Participants will also produce their own constructive visual projects with the help of a mentor and financial support. Applications are open until July 15, 2021. If you are interested in applying, please check out our call for applications.
- Together with our project partners, we will offer networking events and inspirational get-togethers to establish a network of like-minded, visionary media professionals from Africa and the MENA region. By doing so, we strive for continuous exchange of resources, knowledge and best practices.
- DW Akademie is working to develop several additional elements, such as the training of trainers and further funding opportunities. You will find more information here as soon as these elements are implemented.
- As an additional highlight, we plan to host a constructive journalism festival in early 2022 ( DW Akademie will provide more information on this late 2021). The constructive journalism festival will showcase the work of the 15 fellows and will gather high-profile media professionals from the target regions.
If you would like to become part of our network or receive more information, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline: July 15th 2021
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