Training suggestions

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, trainees… 

  • …are able to critically review traditional coverage priorities and discuss a shift to incorporate a more constructive approach.
  • …can identify ways to incorporate constructive reporting into a newsroom.
  • …can identify special constructive formats and discuss how to develop and integrate them into their programs.
  • …can make a business case describing the benefits and values regarding audience engagement and revenue.
  • …can discuss how analytics can be used to determine the appeal and effectiveness of constructive stories. 


Face-to-face: laptop, boxes, projector / video screen (trainer), laptop, smartphones (trainees)
Online: laptops and smartphones (trainer + trainees), headsets

Materials (face-to-face)
Board/whiteboard, flipchart stand and paper, cards (if available), markers.

 Tools (online)
Video conference: Zoom (Back up: WhatsApp)
Visualization: Miroboard, JamBoard (Zoom offers digital whiteboards as well)
Quizzes: Slido, Mentimeter
Communication: WhatsApp, Email  
Documentation, shared documents: Google Drive folder 

Training schedule

Can a constructive approach help? Looking at coverage priorities (fundamental)
Buzz groups / 40 – 50 minutes
Trainees reflect on the benefits/risks of adopting a constructive approach and consider the newsroom changes that would be necessary. 

Trainees discuss whether a constructive approach could be an option for their media outlets? What are the risks? What are their coverage priorities – do they have to change some of them?

Buzz groups: 20 min. 
Discussion: 20 min.
(Optional) Input presentation, Q & A and discussion: 10 min.

Prepare (written) task, and (virtual) board for 3-5 groups – each chart with 3 columns: (1) opportunities of CJ approach, (2) challenges/risks, (3) change in coverage priorities?

Buzz groups, 20 min.
Divide the trainees into small groups of 2 or 3. If there are multiple media outlets in a workshop, create mixed groups. Ask them to reflect on the potential of constructive journalism in their media outlets and the risks they see. Ask them to assess their coverage priorities and if they would have to be changed. Groups present their results and share their ideas. 

Input / Discussion,  10 min.
Reexamining coverage priorities
Presentation: PPT Moving your media outlet forward, slides 2-4

From a traditional newsroom to a more constructive one (fundamental)
Group work  / 1 hour
Trainees brainstorm on what is needed to bring a constructive mindset and workflow into the newsroom. 

Trainees discuss concrete ways to introduce a constructive mindset and approach in their respective newsrooms.

Group work: 30 min. 
Presentation of group work and discussion: 20 min.
Input presentation, Q & A and discussion: 10 min.

Prepare written task and charts for each group on a (virtual) board.

Group work, 30 min.
Divide trainees into groups. If trainees are from different media outlets, if possible form groups whose members are from the same media outlet. Ask each group to design concrete steps on how its members would like to start discussing and then possibly introducing a constructive approach in their newsrooms. Let the groups present their ideas, cluster them and discuss in detail. 

Input / Discussion, 10 min.
From a traditional newsroom to a more constructive one
 Presentation: PPT Constructive dialogue, slides 5-6

Constructive formats, development and implementation (fundamental)
Buzz groups / 40 – 50 minutes
Trainees consider constructive formats that would work for their media outlets as well as their development and implementation.  

Trainees brainstorm in groups how constructive journalism could fit into their programming. What formats could they imagine? 

Group work: 20 min. 
Presentation of group work and discussion: 20 min.
(Optional) Input presentation, Q & A and discussion: 10 min.

Prepare a (written) task and charts for each group on a (virtual) board: (1) constructive formats, (2) how to develop them, (3) how to implement them

Group work / Discussion, 40 min.
Divide trainees into groups of 3-5, let them develop ideas for constructive series or formats and invite them to think about what is needed (staff qualification, funds, audience engagement…) and how they would implement these ideas. After 20 minutes, the groups present their ideas in the plenary group and discuss. 

Input /Discussion, 10 min.
Formats and implementation strategies
 Presentation: PPT Constructive dialogue, slides 7-9

Impact on audience engagement and revenue (fundamental)
Group discussion / 30 minutes
Trainees get information on studies that have been carried out and discuss them.  

Trainees discuss studies on the impacts of constructive journalism at media outlets.  

Trainer input: 10 min. 
Group discussion: 20 min.


Input / Discussion, 30 min.
Impact on audience engagement and revenue 
 Presentation: PPT Constructive dialogue, slides 10-13

In the plenary group, ask trainees for their reactions to the studies. Do they find them credible? Do they agree with their conclusions? While most are based in Europe and North America, do they feel they are applicable to their regions? What are their concern

Using metrics to determine follow-up 
Group work / 1 hour
Trainees brainstorm ideas for follow-up stories based on metrics of a published constructive story.

Trainees develop ideas on how to follow up on constructive stories that have gained a lot of attention. 

Trainer input and discussion: 20 min. 
Group work: 20 min.
Presentation and discussion: 20 min. 

Search 2 or 3 published constructive stories and the respective metrics (DW?), describe shortly the stories and the metrics and write down the task: How to follow up? 
Prepare charts on a (virtual) board for each group.  
PPT: metrics

Input, 10 min. 
Metrics and story follow up
 Presentation: PPT Constructive dialogue, slides 14-20

Group work / Discussion, 40 min.
Divide trainees into groups of 3-5. Present a constructive story that has been published by a media outlet, share key figures of metrics. You could offer different stories to each group. Invite groups to reflect on concrete action: how to follow up (e.g. a follow-up story, a topic-related story, a survey, a dialogue event, etc.) 

Groups present their results and discuss the ideas for follow-up actions.