PARIS — Conflict, scandal, disrepair: the bad news must be reported, wrongdoing exposed. Still, journalism too often is obsessed solely with what is broken — the breaking news, in every sense of the word.
Worldcrunch Impact takes a different starting point, with another question that journalists should ask: How might things get better? How can we build smarter schools and cities, improve our personal health and social inclusion and who knows what else?
It is called solutions journalism, a quest for good ideas and innovations that in the best cases may wind up being replicated as frequently and far and wide as possible.
Because Worldcrunch’s founding mission is to deliver great global stories in English, regardless of the language in which they were originally produced, we are in a unique position to offer a particularly broad range of potential solutions.
We have identified works of journalism that highlight programs, people, systems and innovations that are making the world a better place. We will focus on one particular subject per month, starting with:
- Education Innovation: how technology is improving learning
- Future Farming: the organic revolution and its benefits
- Smart Cities: innovative urban advances making our cities more livable
This series was made possible by our readers, through a Kickstarter campaign of “crowdfunding,” itself an innovation that may be among the solutions for the future of journalism. (See the list of our Kickstarter backers, and ways you can join the effort.)
We must also say a big merci! to all of our 20-plus source partners, with a special thanks to Le Nouvel Observateur, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Internazionale who have signed on as distribution partners for Worldcrunch Impact.
Garrett Goodman, Worldcrunch's head of innovation, has guided the project from the outset, while Emily Liedel, our editor for special projects, has overseen the editorial production. You may have noticed a new redesign of our website, which was rolled out in record time for the launch of Impact thanks to the work of our Croatian technical team led by CTO Ivan Majstorovic and designer Dario Krznar. Thanks to all of them, and the entire Worldcrunch team!
A few final words about this new approach: The aim is to tackle the subjects with as broad a scope as possible. Solutions don’t always fit into easily defined parameters, and some of the best ideas come at the intersection of disciplines. Needless to say, not all solutions being pursued in good faith are the right ones, and some can even present new problems of their own.
No, we don't claim to have the answers. Our goal instead was simply to make accessible stories from around the world that we find thought-provoking and subject matter focused on finding positive outcomes. Our hope is that these first three series are only the start to Worldcrunch’s ongoing search to steer coverage that not only exposes wrongdoing, but also shines a light on what people are doing right. They say that journalism is the first rough draft of history — perhaps it can also be the first blueprint for a better future.
—Jeff Israely, Worldcrunch editor
Russia has decided to cut off relations with the Western military alliance. But Moscow says it was NATO who really wanted the break based on its own internal rationale.
MOSCOW — The Russian Foreign Ministry's announcement that the country's permanent representation to NATO would be shut down for an indefinite period is a major development. But from Moscow's viewpoint, there was little alternative.
These measures were taken in response to the decision of NATO on Oct. 6 to cut the number of personnel allowed in the Russian mission to the Western alliance by half. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the removal of accreditations was from eight employees of the Russian mission to NATO who were identified as undeclared employees of Russian intelligence." We have seen an increase in Russian malicious activity for some time now," Stoltenberg said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called NATO's expulsion of Russian personnel a "ridiculous stunt," and Stoltenberg's words "the truest hypocrisy."
In announcing the complete shutdown in diplomacy between Moscow and NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry added: "The 'Russian threat' is being hyped in strengthen the alliance's internal unity and create the appearance of its 'relevance' in modern geopolitical conditions."
The number of Russian diplomatic missions in Brussels has been reduced twice unilaterally by NATO in 2015 and 2018 - after the alliance's decision of April 1, 2014 to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between Russia and NATO in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea. Diplomats' access to the alliance headquarters and communications with its international secretariat was restricted, military contacts have frozen.
Yet the new closure of all diplomatic contacts is a perilous new low. Kommersant sources said that the changes will affect the military liaison mission of the North Atlantic alliance in Moscow, aimed at promoting the expansion of the dialogue between Russia and NATO. However, in recent years there has been no de facto cooperation. And now, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced, the activities of the military liaison mission will be suspended. The accreditation of its personnel will be canceled on November 1.
NATO told RIA Novosti news service on Monday that it regretted Moscow's move. Meanwhile, among Western countries, Germany was the first to respond. "It would complicate the already difficult situation in which we are now and prolong the "ice age," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.
"Lavrov said on Monday, commenting on the present and future of relations between Moscow and the North Atlantic Alliance, "If this is the case, then we see no great need to continue pretending that any changes will be possible in the foreseeable future because NATO has already announced that such changes are impossible.
The suspension of activities of the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO, as well as the military liaison and information mission in Russia, means that Moscow and Brussels have decided to "draw a final line under the partnership relations of previous decades," explained Andrei Kortunov, director-general of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, "These relations began to form in the 1990s, opening channels for cooperation between the sides … but they have continued to steadily deteriorate over recent years."
Kortunov believes the current rupture was promoted by Brussels. "A new strategy for NATO is being prepared, which will be adopted at the next summit of the alliance, and the previous partnership with Russia does not fit into its concept anymore."
The existence and expansion of NATO after the end of the Cold War was the main reason for the destruction of the whole complex of relations between Russia and the West. Today, Russia is paying particular attention to marking red lines related to the further steps of Ukraine's integration into NATO. Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov previously stated this, warning that in response to the alliance's activity in the Ukrainian direction, Moscow would take "active steps" to ensure its security.
- Moscow Loses Control Over Its Post-Soviet Backyard - Worldcrunch ›
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