This article appeared in the October 31, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Can a healthier news diet help heal the world?

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Monitor correspondent Laurent Belsie interviews corn and bean farmer Chad Christianson on April 2, 2019, in Fremont, Nebraska. His reporting focused on finding solutions to recent flooding.

Today’s five hand-picked stories look at the Republican senators at the crux of impeachment, Russia’s environmental turn, Brexit’s potential impact on Britain’s most vulnerable, the gift of books to homeless people, and questions about how we see gangsters on film.

But first, so many people put so much thought into what they consume these days. As a meat-and-potatoes Midwesterner, I am often befuddled by Boston menus. Ras el hanout? Giardiniera? For a time, I wondered if “gf” meant “good food.”

But there’s good in this trend. It exhorts me to be more thoughtful about how things are produced and the cascading effects on the world around us. The same is true of the climate change debate, in many ways. It’s about more thoughtful energy consumption. Then I wonder: Why don’t we do the same with the news we consume, which is essentially thought-food?

This report by the Solutions Journalism Network is fascinating. It says journalism that focuses on being constructive – not papering over problems but focusing on how we can fix them – makes readers feel more informed, more empowered, and more hopeful.

Readers saw no drop in journalistic standards, and the positive effects crossed gender and partisan lines. When was the last time you read about news reporting that evoked a positive reaction among both Republicans and Democrats?

There’s a long-standing line of thinking that it’s not journalism’s job to heal the world. True. It’s everyone’s job. But since 1908, we at the Monitor have felt journalism is an essential part of that equation.

This article appeared in the October 31, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/31 edition
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