I det fynske folks tjeneste

People will start to like us, when we stop being such an old and grumpy uncle

Two years ago I was attending a summer garden party. I started talking with the person beside me. A young, local business woman. She used to be a local politician, so she actual watched our daily news-broadcast, even though she was 29 years old, and therefore – according to statistics - too young to be watching tv. She also followed TV 2/Funens news on web and social media.

Exclusive peek into test center for constructive journalism

In 2019 TV 2/Fyn gave themselves a challenge. They set out to become Denmarks most constructive media and the country’s largest test center for constructive journalism. In this blog you get an exclusive insight in their work to achieve that goal.

When I found out, that I was talking to a hardcore news fan, (and I thought, a hardcore TV 2/Funen fan), I looked forward to getting some excellent feedback from her. You know it’s always nice to get applauded for the excellent and critical journalism, that you do in the public interests.

She said, “why are you so sad and grumpy at TV 2/Funen?”

Lasse Hørbye

But she surprised me. She said, “why are you so sad and grumpy at TV 2/Funen?”. “why don’t you tell about the good things happening on our Island. Why do you always find really small subjects, that don’t work. It is not representative of the state of things here”!

I found it hard giving her an answer. Especially because she also had some very concrete examples. I was left almost speechless.  

We learn in journalism schools all around the world that the most important thing for a journalist is to be critical. About society. About the people who hold powers. It is us who stop the bad guys, and maybe that is why, a journalist so often is the main character in Hollywood productions. We are the local hero, who fight for the good by pointing out the bad.

Lasse Hørbye

Lasse Hørbye Nielsen (36). Editorial director at TV 2/Funen. Lasse has worked as a reporter and editor in the TV 2 system for 15 years. He has done a lot of critical journalism and breaking news, but is know in charge of a project trying to make TV 2/Funen “the most constructive media house in Denmark”

That is all right. I still think that is important for journalism. But maybe we could do both. Be both critical and constructive? Maybe. Just maybe we could tell about the good guys doing good things for society and communities. Maybe we could be the young and fresh cousin at the family party. The one who has hopes for the future. The one everyone wants to talk to, because she brings joy in everybodys eyes. Maybe we could stop being such a sad and grumpy uncle?

Maybe that could be the solution to and savior for our troubled news-business. Maybe people would actually pay for journalism, that brought them hope, while still being critical and doing breaking news.

It is difficult to convince journalists to have a new mission with their work. You have to train them all over and start at the beginning. You have to look at the big “why are we here”-question. That is the journey, that we have departed on here on Funen. To do some good for the island we live on, with the people that live here. But still with the clear message to the bad guys out there. “ We will still be watching you”.