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3 questions to our Solutions Journalism Accelerator ambassador Jan Scheper


3 questions to our Solutions Journalism Accelerator ambassador Jan Scheper

Picture of Juliette Gerbais
Juliette Gerbais — Project Manager
May 15, 2023

In each edition of our Solutions, Explained newsletter we like to bring you behind the scenes of our Solutions Journalism Accelerator.

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Sja newsletter jan scheper
Jan Scheper

Jan Scheper has been working for Good Impact Magazin, formerly known as enorm Magazin, since 2019. Before that he held different editorial and managing positions at taz – die tageszeitung and Berliner Zeitung. As part of our accelerator, Jan promotes solutions journalism in Germany and is one of our German ambassadors.

Can you walk us through your journey into solutions journalism?

I have worked in classic news journalism for nearly a decade. From my point of view the ever-increasing online speed and the more or less unspoken rule to publish as much news content as possible at any given time created an unhealthy pressure – for readers and for journalists as well. So, I looked for alternatives, for new and balanced ways of reporting. I quickly found the “siblings“: Constructive and Solution Journalism. Deeper research convinced me that these were ways to create an expansion of journalism. I wanted to try them out. And here I am, still convinced, having fun in my job again, working for a constructive brand and discovering that more and more colleagues are already doing this job for quite a while.

For this project, you collaborated with the University of Leipzig. What was the goal of this collaboration?

Our main goal is to measure the longtime impact of Constructive Journalism for the first time. This has not happened before. Therefore, we worked out specific questionnaires for three constructive German magazines and their subscribers: Perspective Daily, taz FUTURZWEI and Good Impact. The collaboration with Uwe Krüger and his team at the University of Leipzig gives us the opportunity to analyse and hopefully prove for the first time that both Constructive and Solutions Journalism – without the explicit will to do this – give readers a deeper added value.

You will also organise a conference in July about constructive journalism. Could you tell us a little bit about it?

The idea behind the event in the taz publishing house on the 6th and 7th of July is quite simple: Meet as many constructive journalists as possible and get in touch with their amazing projects in Germany. It should empower the participants that they’re doing great work, but we also offer a set of workshops to improve knowledge about Constructive Journalism and we will show practical examples. Besides this, we will also present the above-mentioned impact study and a charter, that will be an open and easily understood invitation to work more constructively in many ways. Cooperation partners of the event are the taz Panter Foundation, the Bonn Institute and Perspective Daily.   

You can find more information on the conference here.


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