Learning Lab is the Solutions Journalism Network’s digital classroom. It reflects what we’ve learned in working with thousands of reporters, producers, and editors since 2012. It also showcases what those journalists have learned—best practices, advice, and models from newsroom staffers and freelancers who have brought the solutions approach into their work.
There’s a lot to explore here. We suggest starting with The Basics—a toolkit that gets to the core of solutions reporting: What it is, why it’s important, and how to do it. From there, you can explore one of an ever-increasing universe of guides that apply the solutions lens to key newsroom beats—education, health, violence, and, soon, more. You can navigate this at your own pace, and in any direction; the best path depends completely on your interests.
In January 2015, we launched the inaugural Solutions Journalism Toolkit as a hefty PDF guide. It was downloaded by thousands of individuals in all 50 states and 122 countries in its first year. We followed it with an Editors Guide and a beat-specific Education Guide. With the launch of Learning Lab, we're giving you an updated curriculum and a more integrated approach that will continue to evolve.
Throughout Learning Lab, you’ll see that we’ve augmented the curriculum with video interviews, illustrative case studies, expert advice from other journalists, and other resources—sort of “extra credit” reading that we think brings depth and detail to the core material. We’ve also linked to dozens of relevant stories from the Solutions Story Tracker™ that bring these lessons to life. We’ll continually add new resources, and new story links, to highlight the latest and best of what we’re seeing.
One more thing: Learning Lab is not a finished product. It will evolve as journalists around the world find new and improved ways to do solutions reporting, and as the universe of great solutions stories expands. Which is to say, we’re counting on you to make Learning Lab better. Let us know if you have questions, advice, or stories that other journalists should know about.