Christian De Boisredon
LE JOURNALISME DE SOLUTIONS AU COEUR DES GRANDS MEDIAS
Christian fédère une communauté de rédacteurs en chef au coeur de médias internationaux de renom et insuffle de nouvelles pratiques autour de l’information. En aidant les grands médias à associer de manière plus systématique des solutions aux enjeux sociaux et environnementaux, il inspire les lecteurs à devenir des acteurs du changement.
Les médias actuels sont majoritairement orientés vers les problèmes de société, et, quand les journalistes sont intéressés par l’information de solutions, ils n’ont pas accès à des sujets structurés ou à des sources fiables. Christian a donc créé Sparknews qui fédère des médias leaders d’une cinquantaine de pays autour du journalisme de solutions, à travers la coordination d’opérations médiatiques phares comme l’Impact Journalism Day associant 50 journaux du monde entier. Sparknews a créé aussi d’autres opérations sur les solutions business pour le climat avec le Financial Times, Les Echos, Hindu Buisnessline, China Business News... et pour la santé et l’égalité femme-homme.
En 2017, plus de 100 grands médias dans le monde sont associés aux opérations médiatiques coordonnées par Sparknews comme l’Impact Journalism Day et Solutions&Co (plus de 120 millions de lecteurs et plus de 50 millions d’audience sur les réseaux sociaux chaque année). Sparknews vise aussi à sensibiliser les grandes entreprises à ces solutions pour leur inspirer des modèles de business plus vertueux. Le Club de l’Innovation Positive réunit toutes les 6 semaines plus de 100 décideurs de grandes entreprises et leurs collaborateurs à Paris, Londres, NYC et bientôt Hong Kong.
QUI EST-IL ?
À 25 ans, il fait un tour du monde des entrepreneurs sociaux et écrit “L’Esperance autour du monde”, best-seller traduit en 7 langues. Ingénieur agro, ancien consultant en stratégie et change management, il travaille depuis 15 ans à l’émergence du journalisme de solutions et à la transformation positive des entreprises. Christian intervient souvent comme conférencier en entreprise sur le leadership du changement illustré par des exemples d’entrepreneurs sociaux ayant réussi l’impossible.
Christian has identified the right package of incentives and tools to motivate support and participation from press leadership, and create behavior change. He is demonstrating a sustainable revenue model for solutions-based journalism by reducing transaction costs related to writing about solutions in the news. First, he coordinates the sharing of solutions-based stories among his international network of editors-in-chief; several newspapers can thus leverage the same news stories simultaneously. He also provides a trusted online, open source platform that gives journalists access to easily-digestible videos representing a constant stream of story ideas. This in turn, reduces the time and cost for newspapers to identify and write about solutions. Finally, Christian is working on convincing advertising agencies to promote their products and services alongside solutions-based news, thus providing companies with a “socially good” image while developing a revenue stream that enables newspapers to focus on solutions.
By working top-down with the decision-makers of the mainstream press industry and uniting them in a global peer-to-peer network, Christian envisions a future where solutions-based journalism is embedded in the strategy of newspaper agencies. In this foreseeable future, consumers are increasingly demanding accessible solutions to inspire and foster their changemaking capabilities and the press sector is equipped with the necessary incentives and tools to respond to this demand.
First, solutions-based news often remains sporadic and opportunistic. Citizens are demanding more positive and inspiring news; however, mainstream press still considers “stories that sell” to be those that focus on problems and failures in society, such as war, violence, natural destruction and corruption. While alternative media outlets increasingly cover solutions, these magazines, websites and blogs remain outside of mainstream media and are lacking mass readership.
There is an emergence of models that focus on building the know-how and comptencies of journalists so they can effectively seek out and write high-quality investigative solutions-based journalism. The strategy of training and empowering individual journalists, one that is being led in the USA by David Bornstein, founder of Solutions Journalism Network, is a critical component in the shift toward a press industry that values solutions. However, it is not the complete solution. Another component is a more top-down approach that focuses on getting the buy-in and support from the press industry’s leadership and management, and doing this at an internatonal scale.
While it is increasingly evident that consumers and journalists are demanding a new type of news coverage, and that solutions-based stories do sell, no one has tested an international model. Many effective solutions-based journalism models are intervening at a national level; no global approach exists to unite media players and transcend geographies, languages and cultures. Coordinating such an effort at an international scale which would require convincing newspapers to see beyond their local markets and stakeholders to adopt a more global perspective. Looking at challenges to solutions-based journalism from an international lens could open up exciting and potentially system-changing solutions.
Finally, there is a challenge related to the budget and staff cuts occurring across the industry. In the midst of these cuts, solutions-based news stories are the first stories to go since their production can be considered timely and costly. Journalists do not always know where to find high-quality solutions, and once they find them, they may not know how to write about them. There is an opportunity to demonstrate a business model for solutions-based journalism that makes it easy and cost-efficient for the press industry.
In 2003, Christian co-founded Reporters of Hope in France where he experimented with several ideas to build the field of solutions-based journalism. Christian underwent a thorough analysis of the challenges and levers related to journalists’ ability to create solutions-based news content. Some of the barriers he noted included the fear that there is no interest from readers for solutions-based content. Reporters of Hope worked with Liberation, a daily French-based newspaper, to create an exclusive insert of solutions-based news stories – the worst day of sales became Liberation’s best sale of the year.
Christian also identified the barrier that journalists do not know where to easily find content, and when they do, the presentation of topics can be complicated. Reporters of Hope experimented with developing summary sheets on certain social topics that newspapers could purchase to further understand the problem at hand and possible solutions. However, the FAQ sheets did not gain traction as newspapers would not pay for them and spend the time reading the lengthy summary. From his successes and failures, Christian has been able to identify an optimized set of solutions, which led him to develop his approach for Sparknews, the organization he founded in 2011 and which he currently leads.