If you've been hanging out on OpEdNews for a while, maybe you've noticed that we've been moving toward a kinder, friendlier, more positive model. We've encouraged more civil communication in comments and we are also integrating more positive, forward-moving coverage of current events, via the "Solutions Journalism" model.
The ways that journalists choose to report the news can contribute to changes in society that help build a better world. "Solutions Journalism" goes beyond just reporting the standard news--it involves reporting on solutions, too. Often these are under-reported stories that can have a valuable impact, since exploring the answers that have worked in some areas can promote the development of answers in others.
Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) was co-founded by David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg, veteran reporters who write the Fixes column at The New York Times; and Courtney E. Martin, a journalist and author.
The SJN website notes:
"The field of journalism has traditionally been resistant to seeing responses as legitimate fodder for investigation. Some reporters and editors fear it will be perceived as advocacy, fluff, or PR. Here at the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN), our mission is to change that perception. We define solutions journalism as rigorous, compelling coverage of responses to social problems--reporting done with the highest of journalistic standards. We're already working with a network of over 30 newsrooms and hundreds of individual journalists to demonstrate that solid solutions journalism need not be feared. To the contrary, it's an important, underused tool in a reporter's pocket."
In addition, the founders say, "The main goal of solutions stories is to yield practical insights for society about how a problem, or similar problems, could be more successfully addressed."
SJN offers a downloadable, 48-page Solutions Journalism Toolkit pdf, with valuable tips for everyone from journalism students to veteran print journalists. It's currently offered at no charge, and includes chapters like "How do I conduct a solutions- oriented interview?" (page 20) and "How do I structure a solutions journalism story?" (page 28). You can download this helpful resource here.
OEN looks forward to hearing your thoughts about this perspective, via your comments below, as well as to your submissions of "Solutions Journalism" articles!