Constructive journalism as an alternative to sensationalism - specifics and tasks


constructive journalism
solution journalism
positive psychology

How to Cite

Shamilishvili, M., Tsereteli, M., Svanidze, N., & Matcharashvili, T. (2023). Constructive journalism as an alternative to sensationalism - specifics and tasks. Georgian Scientists, 5(4), 21–36.


A well-made news story, as we know, must meet five criteria: urgency, importance, identification, sensation and conflict. However, it is obvious that the audience for "good news" prepared by these criteria is decreasing day by day. Why? The answer is simple - the journalist loses confidence. That is why the mentioned criteria have often become the subject of wide discussion. This reality gave impetus to the formation of a new vision, according to which a well-made news story should not lose viewers, but should strengthen trust between the media and citizens. Only such a model of journalism can strengthen the democratic dialogue and promote the unity of the society.
Solution journalism can be considered a contextual function of journalism, a more fundamental type of journalism, which is also referred to as "interpretive reporting, in-depth reporting, feature journalism, explanatory reporting, and analytical reporting" (Fink, 2014). Decision journalism can also be placed in a similar but more specific category called constructive journalism, which “involves applying positive psychology techniques to news work to create more productive, engaging stories that are true to the core functions of journalism” (McIntyre, 2017). McIntyre describes constructive journalism as a “continuum” rather than a dichotomy. Shifts emphasis from "straightforward" reporting styles (peace vs. conflict, oppressor vs. oppressed) to comprehensive investigative reporting. "Constructive journalism is a response to the increasing tabloidization, sensationalism and negative bias of modern media news" (Jorgensen K. L., Risbrough I., 2021). The negativity bias reinforces the natural human tendency to assign more value to a negative story than to a positive one. In addition, it is known that a negative story has a greater impact on a person and remains in the mind for a long time. Social psychology studies this phenomenon. As a result, modern journalists who have to develop against "fake news" and the so-called In the post-reality era, the world is increasingly criticized for negative news coverage. The solution is constructive journalism, which will allow the modern media to regain the trust of the public, as it will offer it a way to find a solution to the problem.


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