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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

Health guide

Health Guide

Preview

1 hour, 10 minutes

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

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

Hechinger thumbnail Education guide

Education Guide

Preview

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.

Violence guide

Violence Guide

Preview

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.

Go Deeper

Collaborative playbook

Collaborative Playbook

Start

2 hours

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to design an effective collaborative between/among news organizations, including how to surmount challenges such as editorial direction, spending decisions of shared funds and internal communications.

WHO IT'S FOR: Editors interested in designing a collaborative or working with other news organizations in a joint reporting initiative.

Curriculum builder

J-School Curriculum Builder

Preview

2 hours, 30 minutes

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to teach solutions journalism in a J-School setting. How to construct lessons, from a single module to an entire semester's course, in the approach.

WHO IT'S FOR: J-School professors who want to teach solutions journalism.

Editor toolkit

Editor Toolkit

Preview

2 hours

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to institutionalize solutions journalism into newsroom practice on a consistent and ongoing basis. How to communicate the value of solutions journalism to your team, find the time and resources, and work across beats and geographies to surface credible responses.

WHO IT'S FOR: Editors wishing to facilitate the transition towards solutions journalism in their newsroom.

Engagement toolkit

Engagement Toolkit

Preview

2 hours, 10 minutes

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: How to use solutions reporting to create a platform for more constructive engagement. How to drive productive public discourse and online discussions to strengthen agency and innovation within the communities you serve.

WHO IT'S FOR: Journalists who want to meaningfully connect and build relationships with their audiences.

I WORK IN, TEACH, OR STUDY JOURNALISM Not a journalist, but I want to learn about solutions.
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
  • Receive emails containing the above offerings via occasional email throughout your membership
TO JOIN, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (*=REQUIRED)

Not a journalist? Register here instead.

Here is what you will get:
  • Unlimited access to thousands of stories from around the world
  • First look and access to new features, tools, and resources
  • Curated newsletters with top stories
  • Invitations to SolutionsU community events
  • Receive emails containing the above offerings via occasional email throughout your membership
  • And much more to come…
It’s easy and will take less than 2 minutes.

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®.

If you want to get notified when your story is added, register or before submitting stories here.

Please submit a valid URL starting with 'http'
Please fill out this field

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:
  • Comes from a news outlet; has a date and a byline.
  • Focuses primarily on a response to a problem.
  • Conveys insight, so that its lessons are relevant and teachable to others.
  • Provides evidence of an approach's success or failure.
  • Addresses an approach's shortcomings or limitations.
  • Avoids advocacy, PR, and hero worship—instead focusing on credible, objective reporting.

If you want to get:

JOIN TODAY! It only takes 2 minutes and its completely free.

Please log in to continue:

Not a member yet? Click here to sign up,
and learn about our community and tools.

Get solutions stories in your inbox:

The response

THE RESPONSE FREE!

Weekly email with three solutions stories illustrating responses that work, pivoting off the latest news moments.

CLICK HERE to subscribe in your profile
WHICH COLLECTION DO YOU WANT TO ADD THIS STORYLINK TO?
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INCLUDE A NOTE ABOUT THIS STORYLINK (OPTIONAL)
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Collections are versatile, powerful and simple to create. From a customized course reader to an action-guide for an upcoming service-learning trip, collections illuminate themes, guide inquiry, and provide context for how people around the world are responding to social challenges.

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Name and describe your collection

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Add Stories

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Add external links at any time

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Add to your collection over time and share!

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Add stories to your collection from your list of Favorites below, or add stories directly to a collection from Search or Discover. Anytime you see the collection icon you can add a story. Just click the icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

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This is a powerful feature to provide context and additional information to enhance your collection. Add a link to a relevant website, and a short description about how the resource relates to your collection.

ADD STORY FROM FAVORITES
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Add stories directly from your Favorites, or Search for stories in our database.

If you come across a story you want to add to a collection, click the Collection icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

TITLE
NEWS OUTLET & JOURNALIST
DATE & LOCATION
THERE IN THIS COLLECTION:
THERE IN THIS COLLECTION:
ADD STORY FROM FAVORITES
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Add stories directly from your Favorites, or Search for stories in our database.

If you come across a story you want to add to a collection, click the Collection icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

TITLE
NEWS OUTLET & JOURNALIST
DATE & LOCATION
DONE

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Gabe Hernandez/Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes

All other photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers: Rowan El Shimi; Samuele Arcidiacono; Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2017 © DW/H. W. Lamberz

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