Module JG310

Positive Journalism

Module author

Kristina Widestedt

Stockholm University

Learning objectives

After studying this module, you will be able to:

  • Define positive journalism and explain this journalistic genre;
  • Give an overview of the historic development of the genre, including key persons who established this genre;
  • Reflect this genre critically and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of positive journalism.
Study point 1
Reading extract Positive Journalism


Why Open School of Journalism believes that positive journalism is important zu know

Journalism has evolved over the last century tremendously, bringing us Gonzo journalism and even journalism dedicated to solely investigating crimes. One of the forms of journalism that is not as popular or widely known includes positive journalism. Understanding positive journalism is a way to determine which sector of journalism may be right for you and the advantages of using positivity when researching and writing today.

Definition of positive journalism

Positive journalism consists of journalists and writers covering stories from a more positive side, often showcasing the highlights and good factors of a story or headline. When a journalist is interested in sharing positive journalism, he or she often searches for quotes, history and information that is relevant to the story but also helps to give the story itself a positive spin. There are many benefits to utilizing positive journalism today that can ultimately help to spread the word of good news over sensationalized headlines and stories globally.

Areas where positive journalism thrives

There are many areas of writing and reporting where positive journalism thrives and is also necessary in order to share a story in a different light than has already been portrayed. Some of the biggest industries and areas where positive journalism thrives includes science and discoveries, health and medicine as well as legal issues and cover stories that may be broadcasted around the world. Showcasing the positive aspects of any story has a number of benefits that can ultimately have the right impact on listeners and readers of the journalist him or herself.

Benefits and advantages of positive journalism in the media today

Using positive journalism in writing today is a way to highlight areas of a story that may not be covered in everyday news and broadcasts. When a story has been sensationalized or focused on in the news and media, it may come across as negative or negatively impacting. 

However, with the use of positive journalism it is possible to show another side of the story which may appeal to those who are genuinely interested in all of the facts surrounding the piece, not just those that are focused on with the local news. With the use of positive journalism it is possible to shed light on areas of stories that are often left behind or out in hopes of reaching more users and readers online, even if the title and information is not complete and is entirely sensationalized. Having the ability to share all positive aspects of a story is also a psychological way of improving moods and spreading positivity with writing and reporting as a professional journalist.

The more you know about positive journalism and how it can be helpful to readers and viewers, the easier it is to understand why it is useful today when sharing news and information worldwide. Whether you are interested in journalism yourself or if you simply want to stick to positive news, positive journalism is the way to go regardless of the topic or subject you are interested in yourself.