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  • Writer's pictureNow Age Storytelling team

Connected Journalism works with people and communities on real problems

Nowadays, everyone is connected to the internet and billions of mass self-communicators, and yet they feel less heard and less connected than ever before.

That's why the American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt even calls the younger generations in 2024 "The Anxious Generation".

When I started working with colleagues in India and Denmark in 2009 to combine journalism with smartphone technology and social media platforms -  Twitter at the time, of course - we had one thing in mind:

How could we help democratize journalistic stories and credible communication? Better inform more people and communities with useful facts and stories, and to give more people and communities a voice themselves?

Since then, there have been many attempts to establish digital business models for news. With little tangible results, few legacy newsrooms have been able to diversify their products in a way that works for them.

This is because almost all media - with the exception of partly Scandinavia's public broadcasters - are chasing every supposed trend and attention algorithm.

One result

The current innovation dynamic, fed by the next technological supercycle of mass-spread generative AI, is disrupting platform-dependent journalism in free fall. 

Collaborations and sponsorships with private technology companies have done little for journalistic media:

- Online content has been used to train AI systems for free.

- Technology companies are now de-prioritizing news and journalistic stories.

- Search and ad strategies are once again undergoing massive changes.

- Journalistic content will be even harder to find.

This  jeopardizes the experience to feel the value of relevant information for democratic communities and to understand how I, everyone, can and must participate in the democratic pluralistic formation of opinion.

Bottom line

Recently, in conversation with BBC journalist and inventor of peace journalism Shubhranshu Choudhary and my co-author and innovative journalism educator Devadas Rajaram, I reflected on why and how we could rethink and redesign journalism as a systemic regenerative process - longterm, for real, sustainable, transformative for communities and journalists alike.

Not sticking to market product thinking, which often only leads to the iteration of container models. 

A "connected journalism" in every respect that does not only report on something, but works with people and communities on real problems, moderates and accompanies solution processes.

We see how strongly the global crises affect people's lives everywhere and how relevant concepts, solutions, knowledge transfer specifically adapted to regional communities would be.

I started to outline an initial model for "connected journalism" - see visual - based on the EU-template of the "circular economy", which also has a regional focus.

What do you think about this, what would be necessary, what is needed to get this going? Get in touch to discuss this further.


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