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Torino Social Impact



The role of journalism in the impact economy

What do we mean when we talk about impact journalism? How can information today contribute to the shift in economic, environmental, and social paradigms? Is it possible to measure the social impact of news?

With a mission to explore all the frontiers of impact economy, Torino Social Impact has always kept a close eye on the media world, looking towards journalism that can promote a positive impact.

From the search for answers to these and many other questions, Torino Impact Journalism was born: an initiative dedicated to the role of information in the era of the impact economy. A journey to deepen how journalism can contribute to promoting change in a context where all societal actors, from institutions to businesses, are called upon to engage in addressing the major environmental and social challenges.

Having research, analysis, and the narration of reality as its mission, journalism can already be said to be purpose-driven, with information being an essential element for a more equitable and democratic society. According to this logic, journalism should also play a role in spreading best practices that help society progress, in addition to informing.

In this context, for example, so-called solution journalism is able to open new paths for transformative information: it focuses on effective responses to social problems that can inspire individuals and organizations to act positively, paying more attention to solution-oriented storytelling.

Today, around the world, there are hundreds of experiences that promote impact journalism thanks to the work of journalists, dedicated outlets, media networks, but also awards and recognitions.

People and organizations that are leading a global change in journalism: what unites them is the commitment to investigating the deep causes of a social problem, showing its complexity, and highlighting stories and experiences that have a positive impact on society, encouraging a more conscious, participative, and informed citizenship.

An initiative focused on impact journalism

The initiative launched includes a series of events and webinars, projects, and experiments that will also involve international experts, academics, journalists, and professionals.

The objective is to reflect on the theme starting from some questions, involving both the mainstream information world and the experiences of impact journalism:

  • What role can journalism play in contributing to the necessary economic, environmental, and social paradigm shift for the great global challenges?
  • Is it possible and necessary to set a goal for information different from its natural role as an enabler of an equitable, democratic, and free society?
  • What does it mean for information to be consistent with ESG criteria and the three principles of impact (intentionality, additionality, measurability)?
  • Are there other aspects to analyze besides the corporate strategy of the publishing group one belongs to? How to build a newsroom with social impact also by introducing measurement criteria?
  • Is this approach compatible with the function of journalism of critical analysis and impartial reporting of the current affairs in its entirety and denunciation?

The Torino Impact Journalism initiative is sponsored by Social Impact Agenda per l’Italia.

Scheduled initiatives

Friday, May 10, 2024 – 10:30 am
“The role of journalism in the era of the impact economy”
International Book Fair of Turin, White Room

An international debate to deepen how journalism can contribute to promoting change in a context where all actors of society, from institutions to businesses, are called to engage in addressing the major environmental and social challenges. The event will also illustrate the movement of solution journalism, which proposes information oriented to produce social impact by showing not only the problems but also the solutions, thus contributing to societal progress.

The event is organized by Torino Social Impact as part of the Torino Impact Journalism initiative.

Raphael Zanotti, journalist at La Stampa and curator of Torino Impact Journalism

Mario Calderini, Professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan and spokesperson for Torino Social Impact

  • Tina Rosenberg, co-founder of Solution Journalism Network and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Styli Charalambous, co-founder of Daily Maverick
  • Julie Pybus, journalist at Pioneers Post
  • Zoe McDonagh, Media Development Investment Fund
  • Mario Calabresi, journalist and writer, founder of Chora Media

The Cycle of Webinars

Working languages: italian/english

  • Foundations and principles of solution journalism
    17 June, 14-16 pm
    A panel to illustrate what solution journalism is, its origins, and how it differs from traditional journalism, to understand the role and importance of its approach in the current media context.
  • Social impact metrics in journalism
    16 September, 14-16 pm
    A panel analyzing the possible social impact metrics that can be used to evaluate the social impact of news and its relationship with the criteria of traditional journalism. The goal is to provide participants with tools and practical knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of their narratives and raise awareness of the importance of social impact in journalism.
  • Stories that make a difference
    21 October, 14-16 pm
    A panel dedicated to national and international experiences of solution journalism. The goal is to understand how to implement the approaches and strategies discussed in previous sessions in daily journalistic practices.
  • Economic sustainability of impact journalism
    18 November, 14-16 pm
    A panel dedicated to the economic challenges and possible solutions for financially sustaining a newsroom with impact-driven logics. An in-depth focus will be on building a solution journalism newsroom from scratch: necessary roles, how to pitch a project, how to raise the necessary funds, how to train journalists, and the relationship with publishers. The goal is to encourage active community participation and demonstrate how journalism can be used to address local challenges, promote awareness, and inspire concrete actions for positive social change.