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Lecture series "SchlussPunktStart" - "Between newsworthiness and structural factors"

On June 29, 2022, Benedikt Westphal will present his research results on the topic "Between news value and structural factors - Which aspects influence the implementation of constructive journalism in editorial offices" at the Galerie am schwarzen meer (Am Schwarzen Meer 121) at 5 pm.

"If it bleeds, it leads" - this motto has long been a driver of news journalism. The more controversial and "bloody" the topic, the higher its news value. According to representatives of constructive journalism, however, this motto leads to a social dead end. Those who only describe conflicts and problems without also describing and examining existing solutions are only half fulfilling their journalistic duty. Readers would get the impression that there are no solutions to social and societal problems. Instead, they would resign themselves and withdraw, instead of viewing social problems as solvable challenges and getting involved in overcoming them.

Constructive journalism (also called solution journalism) was developed in the early 2010s to complement "traditional" news journalism. The concept focuses on the question of solution. For example, what approaches exist to reduce homelessness? Where have these ideas perhaps already been implemented and can they be implemented here as well? However, the objective is not to become a blind advocate for a solution. Instead, the solutions should also be scrutinized in a journalistically critical manner.

The idea of constructive journalism spread quickly from Scandinavia (especially Denmark) to the whole world and found many followers. A few years later, however, the question arises: Was the concept also successful in editorial practice? If so, what is the balance? And if not, what caused it to fail? What factors influence implementation? Benedikt Westphal got to the bottom of this question in his. Admission is free of charge.

The aim of the lecture series is to make research results related to journalism accessible to the public during the summer semester. The cooperation between the German Journalists' Association, Bremen Regional Association, and the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research enables graduates of communication and media studies programmes to present their theses and discuss them with media practitioners.

Further information:

Questions answered:

Dr. Cornelia Driesen

ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research

University of Bremen

Phone: +49 421 218-67622


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