PhotoVoice joins advisory panel on Constructive Journalism

28 April 2016

Constructive Voices, an initiative run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations aims to share positive news stories by linking journalists with stories from the voluntary sector, highlighting the importance of the work that they undertake. PhotoVoice has been invited to contribute to its advisory panel, which convened on Wednesday in a special discussion on Constructive Journalism.

Constructive journalism focuses on sharing positive news stories. It maintains that the media should be covering solutions and success stories as well as the problems.

The event brought together charities, journalists from some of the UK’s biggest media outlets and the UN director general Michael Møller to discuss the future of reporting. Michael Møller drew attention to the fact that reporting has become increasingly negative and that more solutions-based reporting would help people to make positive social change. When speaking to Positive News, Michael Møller commented that:

“The responsibility of the media, to me, is to inform, educate and to hold power to account. I think that on the educational part, a lot of media around the world has abdicated its responsibility. It needs to find its responsibility again.”

Journalists and charity representatives alike discussed what this might look like and how gap between journalists and stories from the voluntary sector might be minimised.  Sir Martyn Lewis, chair of NCVO and previous BBC news presenter lead the meeting and noted that the relationship between journalists and the people or organisations working on solutions needs to be strengthened.

PhotoVoice project participants are given the freedom to share the stories that they want to be heard. Through their own photography, underrepresented communities share their successes as well as challenges. There is truth and honesty in this that aims to provide a fuller representation of those than is often featured in the media. PhotoVoice believes that no one should be denied the right to speak out and be heard, and constructive journalism allows for a broader perspective.