The media in Germany offer people too few ideas for solutions to social challenges, as exclusive surveys for FOCUS online show. One reason why FOCUS online created the "Constructive World Award".
Energy crisis, climate change or shortage of skilled workers: our society is facing enormous challenges. The media must name the problems, but they can also offer solutions. However, they are clearly not doing enough. Moreover, they are in a crisis of confidence. This is the result of a wide-ranging series of surveys conducted by the opinion research institute Civey for FOCUS online.
According to the survey, only one in five citizens feel that their lives are adequately represented by important media (such as the daily news, major online sites or newspapers). 67 percent of the citizens do not have this feeling, in the East it is even 75 percent.
Three out of four of the people surveyed (73 per cent) also feel that clever thoughts and exciting ideas play too small a role in the reporting. Only 13 percent of the people find enough approaches to solutions for the undoubtedly existing problems in the reports.
The need for critical-constructive journalism is clearly huge. This is shown by further Civey surveys. Every second respondent (49 percent) has cut down on the consumption of major media because of all the negative news, 42 percent have not.
A full majority of 57 per cent of people would therefore welcome it if the reporting of wide-reach media contained ideas for solving social problems more often. Only 22 percent could do without it. Many people, namely 41 percent, would even change their consumption and use these media more often if ideas made it into the reporting more frequently, 37 percent would not change anything.
To encourage the media and journalists to pay more attention to this enormously important part of reporting, FOCUS online has offered the "Constructive World Award" for the first time this year. Media professionals can apply together with the actors of their contributions. The aim is to honour the social and journalistic work of those who think constructively and move our world forward.
The need for this is definitely great. This is shown by the Civey surveys. Sobering for the German media is the realisation that many people feel misinformed by them and have no trust in their reporting. Thus, 40 percent of the citizens state that the political situation is portrayed too negatively, 31 percent feel that the reporting is too positive. Only one fifth of the people find the description of the situation in TV reports or articles to be exactly correct. As a result, almost every second citizen (43 percent) has no confidence in the reporting. Just as many people in Germany place their trust in the media.