Introduction to Solutions Journalism

Last fall, I attended my first Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) conference.  One of the presentations was from a person from  the Solutions Journalism Network on.. solutions journalism.

SolutionsU is a source of existing solutions journalism. You can search on a topic.. say “forests” and see what they have. Here’s a link. There looked to be quite a few interesting stories.

Also they have training for journalists learning to write stories from this perspective.. Here it is.

It seems to me that it’s terribly difficult to report on solutions (at least in our world) that each have their own pros and cons relative to other solutions, or just leaving things alone. While much journalism is problem-oriented, it seems to me tht solutions-oriented could suffer from the same problem. Did an intervention “work” or did it not “work”.. well it probably depends on what factors you looked at and how you measured them, and what factors you didn’t look at. Still, the database is a good source for stories we might not otherwise have run across. You can also use dates to search if you are interested in more recent ones. If you find something interesting, please link to it in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Introduction to Solutions Journalism”

  1. A personal comment, not a critique or embracing of this just yet. My first career was journalism and I left it because I was tired of pointing out problems and wanted to be involved in solutions…although I can’t say my government career resulted in many, either! Anyway, interesting thought. They would have hooked me back in my reporter days!

  2. They have a training on civic engagement on their site that looks almost The Smokey Wire-ish.

    . INTRODUCTION (15min)


    How to Use this Guide



    Ensure Coverage is Relevant to Community Concerns

    Amplify Community Voices

    Reach Marginalized or Undercovered Communities

    Create a Platform for Participatory Civic Action

    Facilitate Civil Discourse Between Disparate Groups

    Deliver Deeper Customer Value

    III. CASE STUDIES (50min) (“Tackling the Gap”)

    Choteau Acantha (“The Montana Gap”)

    The Christian Science Monitor

    Detroit Free Press (“Our Children: Searching for Solutions”)


    Minneapolis Star Tribune (“Muslims and De-Radicalization: What Works?”)

    The Seattle Times (“Education Lab”)

    The Tennessean (“The Cost of Growth and Change”; “Civility Tennessee”)

    Wyoming Public Media (“I Respectfully Disagree”)

    Your Voice Ohio

    IV. BEST PRACTICES (35min)

    Listen and Get to Know Your Community

    Assess Your Presence and Reach

    Convene the Right People

    Find a Partner or Collaborator

    Cultivate the Right Space (Physically and Digitally)


    Engagement Resources


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