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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.
“If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs," writes Johann Hari in his new book, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions. This extract in the Guardian made me want to dive into the book to find out more.
What Hari calls for is essentially a culture change. In an accompanying interview, he explains: “We’ve built a society that has many great aspects, but it is not a good match for our human nature.” What’s missing, he believes, is meaning. Beyond our basic needs for food, shelter and clean air, we also have an innate need to feel that what we are doing in our lives is meaningful. Not a grand, world-saving kind of meaningful, but small, everyday reminders that we belong, and that we are good at something.
He quotes interesting research to relate depression and our search for meaning to the world of work. One study showed that it's not company bosses, but rather the lower ranked employees, who have the highest stress levels in the work place: “When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work.”