Starter kit


The Optimist’s Telescope – Bina Venkataraman

Factfulness – Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Enlightenment Now – Steven Pinker

The Perils of Perception – Bobby Duffy

Progress – Johan Norberg

The Rational Optimist – Matt Ridley

The News: A User’s Manual – Alain de Botton

The Vanishing Voter – Thomas. E. Patterson

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Steven Pinker

Breaking News: The remaking of journalism and why it matters now – Alan Rusbridger

Journalism of Outrage – David Protess, Fay Cook, Jack Doppelt, James Ettema, Margaret Gordon, Donna Leff and Peter Miller

A Force for Good: How the American News Media Have Propelled Positive Change – Rodger Streitmatter

The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption – Clay Johnson

It’s better Than It Looks – Gregg Easterbrook

Broadcasting Happiness – Michelle Gielan  



The evidence shows that people are not just depressed by the gusher of crises and outrages that make up today’s news. They’re misinformed, and hold demonstrably false beliefs about the state of the world. Jodie Jackson’s timely and engaging look at contemporary journalism is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary journalism and its role in fostering accurate knowledge and responsible citizenship. 

Steven Pinker, Harvard University, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now

This book should be required reading for anyone who consumes or produces news. Jackson details the many harmful, often unexamined, ‘side effects’ of our current news environment – and suggests avenues to protect ourselves and to improve journalism. An urgent call for reform.

David Bornstein, CEO & Co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network

As media organisations globally are starting to embrace constructive journalism, Jodie fulfills a crucial role by engaging and empowering not just those who make the news, but all of us. If ‘You Are What You Read’ is about consuming stories that are good for you, then this very book is a great place to start.  

Danielle Batist, Journalist and Co-Founder, The Constructive Journalism Project

Why do we think that the world is falling apart in the era of the greatest progress mankind has seen? Because our worldview is formed by the news, and as Jodie Jackson explains in this important book, the media is biased towards the negative and sensational. But don’t despair, you can change your media diet, and Jodie Jackson knows how to do it. Good news, at last!

Johan Norberg, Author, Progress: 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future

An incredible, thought-provoking and important book that will give you the tools to navigate the rampant negativity on the news. Jodie Jackson provides insights and tools to help you stay informed without getting depressed. A must-read!

Michelle Gielan, Author of Broadcasting Happiness

An inspiring call to arms to overcome the negativity bias in our news media. Refreshing, well-researched, balanced and hopeful. Let’s make it happen

Dr. Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness