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Danielle Batist is an experienced freelance journalist, founder of Journopreneur and co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project. She lived and worked all around the globe and covered global and local stories of poverty, exclusion and injustice. Increasingly, she moved beyond ‘problem-reporting’ to include stories about the solutions she found. She witnessed the birth of the new nation of South Sudan and interviewed the Dalai Lama. She reported for Al Jazeera, BBC and the Guardian and regularly advises independent media organisations on innovation and sustainability. She loves bringing stories to the world and finding the appropriate platforms to do so. The transformation of traditional media fascinates rather than scares her. While both the medium and the message are changing, she believes the need for good storytelling remains.
In thousands of schools around the world, children aged 5-12 take lessons from a newborn baby. The result? Increased emotional intelligence, understanding and empathy.
I started following the Roots of Empathy story in 2014, when I wrote my first article about the programme. It became one of the most popular solutions-focused stories I ever wrote, with reprints in a range of magazines in different countries.
As some of you might know, I since founded the Constructive Journalism Project and in that capacity I am always on the lookout for media outlets who are starting to embrace constructive journalism. The BBC World Hacks video series is a great example of this. I was especially pleased to see that they recently featured Roots of Empathy in a short video for the series – the one example I often use myself!
As I wrote back in 2014: “It is unusual education on all levels. The subject matter isn’t maths or literacy but empathy, and it’s not a teacher but an infant who guides us. Empathy is not taught, but caught. And the mood is infectious.”
If you’re short on time and interested in inspiring short stories about people fixing problems, I recommend you have a browse around BBC World Hacks. The video episodes are about four minutes long and you can download a series of podcasts, too.