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Welcome to the

LEARNING LAB

Your one-stop guide to producing solutions journalism—rigorous and compelling reporting on responses to social problems. From finding great story ideas, to asking the perfect interview question, to spinning a powerful narrative, it all starts here.

START WITH THE BASICS

2 hours

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: The key tenets of solutions journalism. What is it? What is it not? Why is it important? And how to make it happen, from idea to reporting to completed story.

WHO IT'S FOR: Journalists who want to add rigor and impact to any sort of reporting.

Preview
Show Content Outline +

I. Introduction (30min)

Welcome

How do I know it's Solutions Journalism?

How do I know it's NOT Solutions Journalism?

Why Solutions Journalism?

What Kind of Impact Can Solutions Journalism Have?

Solutions Journalism in Your Workflow?

II. Basic Reporting (60min)

Steps to Creating a Solutions Story

Introduction

Reporting Instructively on Failure

Slices

Bringing a Solutions Lens to Short Pieces

Solutions Journalism and Investigations

Introduction

Good Solutions Stories...

Conducting Interviews for a Solutions-Oriented Story?

Introduction

Crafting Your Pitch

Bringing a Solutions Focus to Your Beat

III. Basic Storytelling (30min)

Structuring a Solutions-Oriented Story

Story Type: Positive Deviant

Story Type: Big New Idea

Story Type: Experiment in Progress

Story Type: Location Transformation

Heroes vs. Characters

Explore Our Issue Guides

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Education Guide

1 hour, 25 minutes

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to apply the solutions lens to the most pressing issues in public education, with a special focus on navigating complex evidence.

WHO IT'S FOR: Education beat reporters who want to raise the bar on their coverage.

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Violence Guide

1 hour

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to reframe coverage of gun crime, sexual assault, detention, and more — with advice and examples from reporters in the trenches.

WHO IT'S FOR: Journalists ready to change their approach to reporting on crime.

Coming Soon!
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Health Guide

2 hours, 30 minutes

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to use solutions reporting to enhance coverage of complex issues such as access to care, substance abuse, and mental health treatment.

WHO IT'S FOR: Health reporters aiming to shift the lens on their beat.

Go Deeper

Coming Soon!

Editor ToolKit

1 hour, 50 minutes

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to get your newsroom staff started on solutions journalism — and how to build toward integration of the approach across your coverage. When to employ solutions reporting to build audience engagement and community impact.

WHO IT'S FOR: Editors who find the solutions approach intrinsically attractive — and want to take it from concept to sustained practice in their news organizations.

Coming Soon!

Engagement ToolKit

2 hours

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to design and manage online and offline activities that amplify solutions stories to drive audience interest and more constructive public discourse. How to create feedback loops that can inform future coverage and metrics of your work’s impact.

WHO IT'S FOR: Reporters and editors who see powerful potential pathways from between solutions journalism and engagement — and want to build those connections consistently into newsroom practice.

I WORK IN, TEACH, OR STUDY JOURNALISM I'M AN EDUCATOR OR STUDENT (NOT IN JOURNALISM) I'M NONE OF THE ABOVE
AS A MEMBER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
  • Access our training curriculum or attend a training
  • Share your stories
  • Join a local community of journalists
  • Attend story workshops and events to hone your craft
  • Get funding and additional support
  • Access the full Solutions Story Tracker™
  • Save favorite stories and create collections in your user profile
TO JOIN, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (*=REQUIRED)

Not a journalist? Register here instead.

AS A MEMBER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
  • Access the full Solutions Story Tracker™
  • Explore curated collections of stories and resources about topics that you care about
  • Create and share your own collections of stories
  • Access and share teaching resources (and coming soon, student resources!)
  • Connect with others using solutions journalism in their courses
TO JOIN, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (*=REQUIRED)

Journalist or J-School? Register here instead.

AS A MEMBER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
  • Access the full Solutions Story Tracker™ database
  • Create and customize your own collections of stories
TO JOIN, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (*=REQUIRED)

Journalist or J-School? Register here instead.

Help us grow our database of solutions stories! Please enter the following information. Our staff will review the story, and if it meets our criteria (see below), it will be added to the Solutions Story Tracker™.

Great suggestion! So great, that we already have that story listed in the Solutions Story Tracker™. View it here.

It may take a few weeks to see your piece in the Solutions Story Tracker™, as we have a backlog of submissions longer than Ben Hur that we’re diligently working to eliminate. We appreciate your patience.

SJN'S CRITERIA FOR GOOD SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM:
  • Can be character-driven, but focuses in-depth on a response to a problem and how the response works in meaningful detail
  • Focuses on effectiveness, not good intentions, presenting available evidence of results
  • Discusses the limitations of the approach
  • Seeks to provide insight that others can use

Hearing from Hub members is the best part of our day after coffee.

WHICH COLLECTION DO YOU WANT TO ADD THIS STORYLINK TO?
+ CREATE A NEW COLLECTION
INCLUDE A NOTE ABOUT THIS STORYLINK (OPTIONAL)
Done

Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers:

Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

Photos are licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Burak Kebapci and SCY.

If you want to get unlimited access to the Solutions Story Tracker™ and also get alerts when new relevant stories are posted, please register now.

Registration takes about two minutes, and is completely free. We'll never share your email address outside of SJN.

Sound good?