A pinch of optimism and a spoonful of solutions journalism
As a journalism student, I used to find reading the news daily an incredibly depressing task. Having a background in conservation, I was saddened to see that deforestation, species’ extinction and a whole cloud of doom and gloom seemed to be the only allowed angle to report on the environment.
A few weeks after finishing my degree I was contemplating job rejections, unpaid internships and largely depressing world news and I decided that I had enough. There was no point of complaining without doing anything, and so on that day, an idea sprung to my mind.
Sat in the living room of a house I was sharing with a few of my journalism friends we decided it was about time we pooled the diverse talent that sat around the table to do something worthwhile, and we created INKLINE.
After a few weeks of hard work, we had an international media platform ready to go live and featuring positive news, interviews with go-getters championing sociocultural causes, stories of people living their purposes and chasing passions amid adversities, and various sources of inspiration — all to show the diversity, beauty, and goodness of the world.
Little did I know at the time that creating this platform would open up some incredible opportunities for me, like being able to become the Outreach Coordinator for Conservation Optimism. I had become convinced that constructive journalism (sometimes also known as solutions journalism) was essential to provide people with some so-needed hope. This is not saying that bad news shouldn’t be reported but that highlighting potential solutions and what people are doing around the globe to have a positive impact will leave people feeling empowered instead of helpless.
This ethos fitted perfectly with Conservation Optimism’s aim to “amplify the reach of conservation by transforming the discourse from ‘doom and gloom’, into a refreshing vision of the future of nature and how to get there” and so joining the team seemed like the most natural step to take.
Since starting working within the ICCS team, I had to quickly dive into the preparation for the Conservation Optimism Summit 2019, and I’m really excited to announce that we’ve got some amazing plenary speakers confirmed!
The 2019 Summit will bring together passionate and creative people from around the globe to share ideas and offer solutions for more empowering conservation while continuing to disrupt the doom and gloom narrative.
In addition to our fantastic plenaries, we will also be holding a plenary panel titled Future Voices which will see four young conservationists discuss how they are working towards reframing the conservation narrative in their countries and their involvement with Conservation Optimism.
Another aspect of the summit, which is a lot of fun to work on, is the
Good Natured – A Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival. Held during the evening at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the festival will highlight positive stories from the conservation and environmental sectors and will feature a panel discussion between our international judges.
The festival is now accepting submissions from both professional and amateur filmmakers of short-films so spread the word, and I’ll be looking forward to watching all of them!