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Beyond The Bad News: Journalism In Search Of Global Solutions

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

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
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