Idea Lab: Going beyond the nasty and negative | DW AKADEMIE | DW | 22.03.2021
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Call for Participation

Idea Lab: Going beyond the nasty and negative

This innovative Idea Lab by DW Akademie wants to bring together a diverse group of visual media professionals from Africa and MENA countries. Join us in strengthening Constructive Visual Journalism!

There is no doubt that media are in crisis worldwide: loss of credibility and relevance in polarized societies, media markets swayed by disinformationWhat is necessary to take journalism and visual reporting towards more constructive storytellingWhat needs to be done to create fact-based, nuanced, positive and solution-oriented media narrativesHow is it possible to inspire and empower audiences instead of burdening them with bad news?

This innovative Idea Lab by DW Akademie wants to bring together diverse group of visual media professionals from Africa and MENA countries. Participants may come from different backgrounds, but all should share the same belief in the benefits of Constructive Journalism. We are convinced that journalism should be more than running after scoops and competing for attention with breaking news updates. Join us 


Idea LabGoing beyond the nasty and negative 


April 15-16/22-23, 2021four half-day sessions 




Visual journalists, photographers, documentary filmmakers, scholars of journalism institutions, data scientists, designers and mediators from Africa and MENA countries.  


Participants should be fluent in English or French. 

Application deadline

April 06, 2021


The challenges of today’s journalism 

Given media’s long-standing watchdog role of scrutinizing and calling those in power to account, most journalists feel obliged to assume an overly critical attitude – especially during crises like the ongoing pandemic. As a resultreporting often centers on shocking images and catchy, problem-focused headlines. One glimpse at the news and the narrative seems clear: the world is doing terribly. That gloom and doom narrative makes many people turn away from traditional media.  

DW Akademie, Germany’s leading media development organization, is launching a project called “The Power of Images: Covid 19 – Overcoming the crisis by Constructive Visual Journalism" that wants to strengthen Constructive Visual Journalism. This alternative concept of reporting focusses not only on addressing problems, but also on presenting solutions and portraying people who think up ideas to overcome challenges and explore ways forward. 

The objectives of our Idea Lab  

Participants in the Idea Lab will work together to 

  • assess the needs for new visual storytelling approaches 

  • create a common vision on how challenges can be addressed  

  • identify key skills for constructive visual reporting  

  • brainstorm on training formats and products to foster constructive visual storytelling 

What you can expect  

Using elements of design thinking, the basic principles of the Idea Lab will be to 

  • make it as participatory as possible  

  • avoid endless debate by creating room for collaborative thinking 

  • offer participants as much space as possible. We’re there to listen! 

The Idea Lab shall be the start of an international initiative and network of like-minded, constructive thinkers. Some of the participants will be invited to co-develop and test, as core experts, a new constructive curriculum over the course of the project. They will each receive financial contract to this effect. 

How to apply 


Please submit your proposal by April 062021. 


The proposal should include the following: 

1. Background information: In 2 or 3 sentences, describe your professional background and/or your perspective on the topic and state whether you would like to participate in English or French 

2. Professional/personal interest: In 2 or 3 sentences, explain your personal and/or professional interest in taking part in the Idea Lab and in the development of constructive concepts of visual storytelling. 

3. Please provide us with a sample of your work that you are most proud of.  

Completed applications can be sent via email to Ms. Beate Weides,, and Mr. Kilian Schütze-Alinsky,

If you have any question or concerns regarding the Idea Lab, please email the persons mentioned above.