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The Editor's Blog - What's it all about?

North Staffs News
North Staffs News
The Editor's Blog, Easter 2022.
“Constructive journalism is an emerging domain within journalism. It involves reporting solution-focused news, instead of only negative and conflict-based stories. Reporting what is going well, people are more able to create a realistic view of the world. Constructive journalism also addresses what the consumer can do with the information, such as how they might take action on an issue.” From Wiki (edited/condensed).
This is what North Staffs News is all about, it’s local news with a positive purpose. I aim to share what’s going well - positive developments happening in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme - all the time asking ‘What can we learn from this? What action can we take? How can we develop further? What next?’
I’m writing this ‘editor’s blog’ in response to some ‘frequently asked questions’ I receive.
Is North Staffs News a ‘good news’ platform? No. I’ll report on any subject, but will do so constructively. I’m interested in the solutions to issues, not their negative impacts.
Let me give an example, drug addiction. Some news media might portray drug addicts as a blight on our communities, dangerous, unworthy of attention, demons. Constructive journalism recognises the challenges around drug addiction and its associated behaviours, but asks ‘what is the roadmap out of addiction for this person? How can communities create or support services to tackle drug addiction and its impacts?’
Let me give another example, industry awards. It’s great to be recognised by peers for your work. Some news media might focus on the awards night, the glitz of the occasion, the fizz, the dinner suits, the sparkly dresses, the venue. Constructive journalism recognises the value of such awards and glamour of these occasions, but digs deeper, asking ‘what’s the truly unique selling point here? What’s the innovation that’s led to this? What can we learn that we too can put into practice?’
Why establish North Staffs News now? Well, the answer is quite simple really, I’ve had ‘skin in the game’ of constructive journalism for a number of years, just not here in North Staffs until recently.
Joy Jenkins
A collective of freelancers, @hullisthis focuses on producing positive news and has demonstrated that there is an appetite for constructive news at the local level, what @photomoments called “the vitamins if not the fiber in people’s news diet.” #newsrw
The panel, ‘Who is investing in solutions journalism?’,'s NewsRewired conference, Reuters, London, 6th March 2019. That's me, 2nd from left.
The panel, ‘Who is investing in solutions journalism?’,'s NewsRewired conference, Reuters, London, 6th March 2019. That's me, 2nd from left.
I launched HULL IS THIS as an alternative news platform for the city in 2018, and it quickly grew to become a popular and trusted source of positive news. It attracted media attention in its own right too. I found people, including the journalism industry itself, are hungry for news done in a refreshing way.
Now happily embedded back in the place of my birth, I’m ambitious for North Staffs News to become a popular and trusted source of local content too.
In the first 3 months of this year the project has been finding its voice and tone. The email bulletin has been testing formats, finding out what works, what doesn’t. It seems short-form podcasts are going to be very popular, ace! Subscriber and reader numbers have been growing steadily and very healthily. It’s not a numbers game, however. As soon as numbers and growth become the driver of a news project, that’s when ‘clickbait headlines’ and sensationalism become a temptation - I’ll never resort to that.
As an early subscriber, please accept my thanks! Your engagement and feedback has been really helpful in shaping the early stages of this project. Keep telling your friends and colleagues about North Staffs News!
What next? More content, a deeper dive into what’s doing well locally, and deeper exploration of solutions to local issues.
As a reader/listener, I want you to connect me with stories and people around you. Who should I be talking to? Why?
start-up enterprises • charity funding successes • community action • new services • noteworthy events • participatory arts • useful publications • local history and heritage • spoken word • and more! You get the idea!
I can’t promise to follow every lead, but chatting costs nothing, and as I can’t be everywhere all of the time, I do need your help to connect. Thanks.
I’m happy, where time and other resources allow, to get away from my desk and do some field work. It’s fab meeting people face-to-face again!
I hope this editor’s blog has been useful for you to read. Several people have sent questions my way, I’m always happy to answer. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll organise some very informal ‘meet the editor’ get togethers too.
Wishing you all the best for a very relaxing Easter weekend.
Jerome - the editor.
Find out more about Jerome (twitter @photomoments) by visiting his personal portfolio website:
@photomoments @BennettSoc @Jennyamphlett @Affordablefood2 Thanks for the opportunity to talk about our new projects and FRONTLINEdance. It was good for Rachael to look back and reflect on a few things too. Though of course she has created quite a list of things that she should have said but didn't! #inclusionmatters
@photomoments Glad that you’ve connected with our local social enterprise projects - and thanks for the helping to share our good news stories from around North Staffs.

Thanks for being a ‘friend with Human-Nature’.
We honestly love receiving these newsletters, ace to keep updated with all the good stuff that is going on - if you haven’t signed up already please do as bloomin eck we all need a bit of #potteriespositivity - it is good for the soul 🙌
Now, please tell your friends about us, and get them to SUBSCRIBE too!
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North Staffs News
North Staffs News @photomoments

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Editor: Jerome Whittingham

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