Media based communication has become the cornerstone of modern life. The internet and social media are both a gift and a problem: while they have become salient ingredients in our daily lives, they can also be manipulative, employing algorithms for commercial and political exploitation and disseminating ‘fake news’, often instigating social disruption, fear, hatred and eroding trust. Can positive psychological principals help us connect, and retain media as a place where compassion and hope are experienced, a media more responsive to our values and social context?
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that we can re-claim the full range of media to connect, facilitate sharing and supportive social interactions that decreased isolation, anxiety and apathy. To do so, we have media communication tools such as constructive and citizen journalism, personal social media apps, as well as the Internet platforms that provide us with more choice and control over media than ever before. To exploit this fully, improved communication skills and relationships with media personnel are needed, to both stimulate positive action and increase diversity and decreasing inequality through facilitating ‘boundary crossing’ between social sectors. We can use powerful media tools to engage people, create empowerment, and challenge dysfunctional beliefs.
Examples of successful positive media programming, increasing our internet literacy and technologies skills, and influencing mass media and community radio broadcasting, are discussed. We all have a role to play in sustaining an effort to create the media we want through combating the echo chamber of ‘likes finding likes’. The question then is not so much what can media do to increase wellbeing, but what can we do to use or re-create media for wellbeing in helping ‘create a world we want to live in’?
Clay Shirky (2009) How social media can make history. TED.
David Puttnam (2013) Does the media have a “duty of care”? TEDxHousesOfParliament.
Tim Berners-Lee (2014) A Magna Carta for the web. TED.
Fadi Chehadé & Bryn Freedman (2018) What everyday citizens can do to claim power on the Internet. TED.
Steven Pinker (2018) Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers. TED.
Markham Nolan (2012) How to separate fact from fiction online. TEDSalon London.
Marshall McLuhan: Interview in 1977 just before he died:
Documentary from 1967: This Is Marshall McLuhan – The Medium Is The Massage
- Marleen Stikker (2018) Citizens do not have to lose from tech giants. WAAG
- Jennings Bryant, Susan Thompson & Bruce Finklea (2013) Fundamentals of Media Effects: Second Edition. Waveland Press.
- Christian Fuchs (2017) Social Media: A Critical Introduction: 2nd Ed. SAGE.
- Hana Noor Al-Deen & John Allen Hendricks (Eds.) (2012) Social Media: Usage and Impact. Lexington Books.
- Jean Burgess, Alice Marwick & Thomas Poell (Eds.) (2017) The SAGE Handbook of Social Media. SAGE.
- James Potter (2018) Media Literacy: 9th Ed. SAGE.
Joseph Stiglitz (2019) People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent. p. 75. W.W. Norton.
Why media matters
- [Colombian Truth Commission]: Andrés Ucrós Maldonado (2017) “What Is the Colombian Peace Process Teaching the World?”, New England Journal of Public Policy, 29(1), Article 9
- CUBE (2020) Social media usage in the pandemic stats – the website referenced in the book unfortunately no longer exists, CUBE having moved to a new site (cubelgium.be) and not carried across their old posts:
an alternative reference to some of the source data can be found here:
Eyes wide open
- Robin Worrall & Christina Pazzanese (2020) Battling the ‘Pandemic of Misinformation’. The Harvard Gazette. May 2020
- Lei Han, Rui Sun, Fengqiang Gao, Yuci Zhou & Min Jou (2019) The effect of negative energy news on social trust and helping behavior. Computers in Human Behavior 92, 128–138.
- Qinghua He, Ofir Turel & Antoine Bechara (2017) Brain anatomy alterations associated with Social Networking Site (SNS) addiction. Sci Rep 7, 45064.
- Adrian Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, & Maarten Bos (2017) Brain Drain: The mere presence of one’s own smart phone reduces available cognitive capacity. Journal of the Association of Consumer Research, 2(2).
- Marshall McLuhan: 2 interviews in 1977 just before he died: https://youtu.be/ULI3x8WIxus & https://youtu.be/PugVfJS1zCE
- Reuters (2018) Web creator Berners-Lee launches contract for better internet & contractfortheweb.org
- Ravi Chandra (2018) How to Use Social Media Wisely and Mindfully. Greater Good.
Reclaiming the media we want and need
- Karen McIntyre & Cathrine Gyldensted (2017) Constructive Journalism: An Introduction and Practical Guide for Applying Positive Psychology Techniques to News Production. The Journal of Media Innovations, 4(2), 20–34.
- Worlds Best News
- Bright Vibes
- MH17 & also see Bellingcat coverage
- Jello Biafra (2000) ‘Become the Media’
- Mare Knibbe, Marten de Vries & Klasien Horstman (2017). Engaging cultural resources to promote mental health in Dutch LSES neighbourhoods: Study of a community-based participatory media project. Health Promotion International, 32, 567–576.
- Matthew Sanders, Danielle Montgomery & Margaret Brechman-Toussaint (2000). The mass media and the prevention of child behaviour problems: the evaluation of a television series to promote positive outcomes for parents and their children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 41, 939–48.
- YouTube history
- Giuseppe Riva, Rosa Baños, Cristina Botella, Brenda Wiederhold & Andrea Gaggioli (2012). Positive technology: using interactive technologies to promote positive functioning. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15, 69–77.
- Jon Roozenbeek & Sander van der Linden (2019) The fake news game: actively inoculating against the risk of misinformation. Journal of Risk Research, 22(5), 570–580.
Aspiration and action
- Ricardo Muñoz, Michael Glish, Terry Soo-Hoo & Jerie Robertson (1982) The San Francisco mood survey project: Preliminary work toward the prevention of depression. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10(3), 317 0091-0562
- [Shuga]: Abhijit Banerjee, Eliana La Ferrara & Victor Orozco-Olvera (2019) The Entertaining Way to Behavioral Change : Fighting HIV with MTV. Policy Research Working Paper 8998. World Bank
- Mare Knibbe, Marten de Vries & Klasien Horstman (2016) Bianca in the neighborhood: moving beyond the ‘reach paradigm’ in public mental health. Crit Public Health 26(4):434-55
- The Team (2008) https://www.sfcg.org/programmes/cgp/the-team-kenya.html
- Marten de Vries (2014) Mental Health, Mass Communication and Media. In Samuel Okpaku (Ed.) Essentials of Global Mental Health. Cambridge University Press.
- Power of community radio: Radio Santa Maria (Dominican Republic)
- Alfred Bandura (2001) Social cognitive theory of mass communication. Media Psychology, 3(3), 265–99.
- Pierre Rosanvallon (2008) Counter-Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust (Arthur Goldhammer, Translator). Cambridge University Press.
Going forward: being media
- MacBride Commission ** (1980) Many Voices, One World: Towards a New, More Just, and More Efficient World Information and Communication Order. Report of the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems. UNESCO.
** Sean MacBride (Ireland), Elie Abel (USA); Hubert Beuve-Mery (France); Elebe Ma Ekonzo (Zaire); Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia); Sergei Losev (USSR); Mochtar Lubis (Indonesia); Mustapha Masmoudi (Tunisia); Michio Nagai (Japan); Fred Isaac Akporuaro Omu (Nigeria); Bogdan Osolnik (Yugoslavia); Gamal el Oteifi (Egypt); Johannes Pieter Pronk (Netherlands); Juan Somavia (Chile); Boobli George Verghese (India) & Betty Zimmerman (Canada)
- Christian Fuchs (2015) The MacBride Report in Twenty-first-century Capitalism, the Age of Social Media and the BRICS Countries. Javnost – The Public, 22(3), 226-239
- Archive of Our Own (AO3) Wattpad
- Alexander Michael Petersen, Emmanuel Vincent & Anthony LeRoy Westerling (2019) Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians. Nat Commun 10, 3502.
- Elinor Ostrom & Vincent Ostrom (2014) Choices, Rules and Collective Action. ECPR Press.
- Marten de Vries (2014) Retooling for Wellbeing: media and the public’s mental health, Ch. 15. In Felicia Huppert & Cary Cooper (Eds.), Wellbeing: A complete Reference Guide: Vol 6: Interventions and Policies to Enhance Wellbeing. Wiley-Blackwell.