29 January 2019

Paving the Way to More Responsible Journalism

The Graduate Institute, together with its Danish partner, the Constructive Institute, organised the second Global Constructive Journalism Conference on 18 January 2019. Speakers came from global media outlets, tech companies, non-profits and academia and shared their stories, ideas and impactful insights on the future state of journalism.  Through panel debates, first-hand experiences and storytelling, more than 300 participants from 56 countries heard how the news industry filters the world and how journalism could be made more trusted and relevant.

In her opening remarks, Jacqueline Coté, Director of Public Relations at the Graduate Institute, noted that the two Institutes were natural partners, first because of their shared mission to advance insight and debate in the social sciences and humanities, and second because “academia work hand-in-hand with the media”.  The Maison de la Paix was therefore an ideal venue to host this joint Conference.

Among the topics covered were, “News Criteria – Did We Get it Wrong?” and “Constructive Journalism – a Needed Change or Hot Air?”  The opening keynote on “Reinventing Journalism to be More Trusted and Valued” was given by Vice President of News at Google, Richard Gingras.

Dr Achim Wennmann, Senior Researcher at the Graduate Institute’s Centre on Conflict, Development & Peacebuilding, moderated a panel debate on “Journalism in Post-conflict Societies”. Former Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Professor Robert Roth, gave his legal perspective in a panel on “Should Access to Trusted Information Be a Human Right”.

In his presentation entitled, “Experimenting at the Guardian”, Mark Rice-Oxley, Head of Special Projects at the Guardian, said that “news journalism has become finding clouds on a sunny day. Audiences are turning away from the media because we are feeding them a diet of misery.” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford said, “if we want to build a better future for journalism, we’ve gotta do it ourselves,” during the panel entitled, “How Can More Responsible Journalism Lead to Deeper Engagement (and Higher Revenues)”.

The Conference wrapped up with the Future of Journalism Global Award, a prize given by the Constructive Institute and Solutions Journalism Network to Sarah Boseley of the Guardian for her work on the solutions-based article, “The big sleep: how the world’s most troubled country is beating a deadly disease”.

Watch the Constructive Journalism Conference in its entirety.

See photos from the event.