More than 90% of the news today is driven by fear & negativity therefore people everywhere have started experiencing some anxieties. Smiley News, a popular segment of the Smiley Movement sends out positive energy by giving out optimistic news from all over the world.
Smiley Movement is a nonprofit community interest company sponsored by the original SmileyⓇ brand. Their vision is to encourage constructive change in the world by building a happier, more equal, and sustainable world, where everyone works hand-in-hand to meet fundamental societal and environmental difficulties.
Here we have Amy Packham, the Chief Editor at Smiley Movement in conversation with Icy Tales.
Q) One thing that stands to be very unique is the positive news that you share under ‘Smiley News’. It enthralled us and led us to see your content. So what was the idea behind it, what led you to start something like this?
Amy Packham – France Soir newspaper editor Franklin Loufrani created the Smiley symbol in February 1971 to highlight all the positive and fun news in the newspaper. In September 2020, Smiley News was launched in the UK as part of the Smiley Movement – pivoting the Smiley symbol back to its roots and creating an online platform to promote positive news.
I joined in July 2021 as editor of the site, and all the content we write aligns with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. It’s refreshing to take a solutions-based journalism approach to news and find out about the people and organizations who are contributing so much good to this world.
Q) ‘Smiley News’ is on a mission to spread positive news to empower & motivate others. According to you does negativity spread faster than positivity, if yes how do you aim to spread more awareness about your segment?
Amy Packham – Sadly, there’s a lot of negative news in the media – especially in the past year and a half due to the pandemic. Reading, seeing, and hearing about this negative news all the time can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health, so it’s refreshing for us to seek to find the good things people are doing – from people fundraising thousands of pounds for charity, or businesses giving back to the planet.
Q) With all the negativity around the world, how important does it become to spread the news in such an optimistic way?
Amy Packham – Smiley News aims to inspire people to drive positive change in the world and we do this by sharing stories about people, charities, organizations, and businesses who are doing just that.
We aim to “scale up” these good ideas by encouraging people to support, donate and volunteer to their causes – but also to “scale-out” the ideas too, encouraging people to replicate these initiatives, projects, or solutions in their communities.
Q) Since people like to always keep themselves updated about all the happenings in and around the world, do you think/feel other news organizations should also have a segment just to share encouraging news?
Amy Packham – Lots of news publications share positive news stories from time to time, but the good thing about Smiley News is that people can come to our website knowing they will only be reading articles about hope, positivity, and real change.
Q) With your posts on social media, you have been spreading awareness about various important issues. Does it become challenging to share all this with positivity?
Amy Packham – The United Nations’ sustainable development goals acknowledge that there are issues in the world that need solving. All of our content at Smiley News highlights the small and big things people and organizations are doing to achieve these aims.
Q) You are a movement trying to spread encouraging news. Did you encounter any roadblocks along the way, if yes how did you overcome them?
Amy Packham – It’s encouraging to us that people who are driving positive change in the world are happy to share their stories to inspire others to do the same.
Q) Many in the world are of the view that negative news evokes stronger psychophysiological reactions than positive news. How does your initiative ‘Smiley News’ intend to break or change this opinion?
Amy Packham – We aim to show people there is hope, happiness, and positivity in the world. Sometimes you just have to work harder to find it.
Q) ‘Smiley News’ is sharing positive news every day, it surely shows that many people and organizations are supporting good causes. Would you like to share how has Smiley News evolved over the years?
Amy Packham – Smiley News shares daily positive news about people, organizations, and businesses changing the world for the greater good. We also run ‘Smiley Talks’ which are live events in the UK, featuring interviews and panel discussions with charity speakers, campaigners, and educators tackling real issues and promoting proven strategies.
Q9) Would you like to tell us something about your plans ahead with ‘Smiley News’.
Amy Packham – We’re really excited to be launching a podcast in late 2021 called ‘Defiant Optimism’, which will profile people who are going above and beyond to give back.
Smiley News is bringing to the world about what is going right which helps in bringing hope and optimism to our society. Their news stories which focus on positivity and solutions to difficulties help in the well-being of people. Reading positive news by Smiley News can help people identify their ability to make a difference and inspire millions to become more optimistic. Especially in challenging times, people need positivity around them which can motivate them to do good.