This week, we hear from co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project and Editor-in-Chief of Positive News Magazine Sean Dagan Wood, to learn how at least one publisher is building a membership model around news with a constructive spin.
In the news round-up, the team discuss how Kylie Jenner caused Snap’s stock to plummet, the swings and roundabouts of Vox Media redundancies and The Atlantic’s hiring spree, and Salon using its audience’s spare processing power to mine a cryptocurrency. Peter puts his tinfoil hat on for Conspiracy Corner.
- ‘The Fake News Game: Actively Inoculating Against the Risk of Misinformation’, a report from Cambridge University, covered by Alphr.
- The Wall Street Journal has built a paywall that bends to the individual reader, from Nieman Lab.
- In Parkland, journalism students take on role of reporter and survivor, from the CJR, with a link to their initial report in The Eagle Eye student publication.
In our own words: Chris Sutcliffe
There have been a number of attempts to launch newspapers and news sites around news with a positive spin. Sean Dagan Wood, co-founder of Positive News, would be the first to stand up and say that those endeavours failed to find an audience, in part because they were too “fluffy” and failed to grapple with the substance of the issues that mattered to their readers.
Instead, Sean advocates ‘constructive’ journalism; reporting on a subject with a solutions-based spin. The fact that the Guardian has recently launched a similar endeavour – The Upside – is validation of the idea that audiences respond as well to news of that nature as they do to the sensationalist, screamingly negative headlines than characterise most front pages.
Positive News is building on that desire from an audience for constructive journalism by launching both a subscription to its quarterly print product and also a membership scheme. At a time where many other publications are attempting to do the same, it was fascinating to hear how Sean and the Positive News team are managing that relationship, and how they’re building a club mentality around a news philosophy.
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