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Chapter I

Introduction

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Contents
  1. I. Introduction (5m)
  2. II. The Essentials of Teaching Solutions Journalism (60m)
  3. III. Teaching Solutions Journalism as a Module (15m)
  4. IV. Customized Approaches to Teaching Solutions Journalism (25m)
  5. V. Resources (45m)
Resources

J-School Curriculum Builder

Welcome

Michaela University of Oregon student videographer Michaela Giunchigliani shoots video for OR Magazine. Photo by Erin Hampton, courtesy of OR Magazine.

Hundreds of news organizations nationwide practice solutions journalism: rigorous reporting that covers what’s missing in much of today’s news. Instead of stopping coverage after a crisis, or continually reporting on flawed systems, journalists are reporting not just on what’s broken, but on what’s being done to fix it. They dig deeper, chronicling whether and how people around the world are responding to problems--and the resulting effects. The results are heartening. Newsrooms that are integrating solutions reporting into their coverage are engaging audiences, increasing their impact, building trust, and strengthening relationships with their communities.

Solutions reporting is a skill that newsrooms increasingly demand, and it’s a skill more and more journalism schools are teaching.

If you are a journalism school professor interested in introducing solutions journalism to your students, this toolkit provides the materials you need. Crafted by J-school professors who have pioneered the teaching of solutions journalism, it includes the essentials, whether you’re developing an entire course or a module to incorporate into an existing class.

In "The Essentials of Teaching Solutions Journalism," we cover the key concepts you’ll want to include in any solutions journalism course, as well as a range of options for lectures, discussions, class exercises, and homework assignments. J-school professors who have taught solutions journalism courses and modules worked together to choose these key concepts, organized into five sections and enriched with supporting materials and teaching ideas. This section also provides an in-depth approach for a standalone course that supports the development in your students of both a deep understanding of solutions journalism and how to practice it. The sections described here can be abridged and incorporated as a module in other journalism courses.

In Chapter III, "Teaching Solutions Journalism as a Module," we lay out two examples of how to do just that: create a solutions journalism module to fit within a larger course.

Chapter IV, "Customized Approaches to Teaching Solutions Journalism," provides a sampling of the many ways the teaching of solutions journalism has been adapted to accommodate different learning environments and objectives.

By the time you get to the Resources in Chapter V, you’ll no doubt have some questions, which the FAQ you’ll find here attempts to answer (if you have questions that aren’t answered here, please let us know!).

And finally, you’ll find links to all of the resources mentioned throughout the toolkit, including sample syllabi and lecture presentations, as well as additional supporting materials you might find useful in teaching solutions journalism.

(As you’re acclimating yourself to the world of teaching solutions journalism, we encourage you to explore the rest of our resources in the Learning Lab, including our Basic Toolkit, a step-by-step guide to solutions journalism reporting. And here’s a J-School student’s perspective on the Basic Toolkit.)

This toolkit is an evolving resource that very much depends on the wisdom of solutions journalism educators at every stage along the path of developing and implementing a successful curriculum. As you move ahead with your own approach, we invite you to join our growing community and share your experiences. The more we share what we’re learning, the better this resource will become for everyone teaching solutions journalism, and for the students who are practicing it.

J-School Curriculum Builder

Welcome
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?
+ CREATE A NEW COLLECTION
INCLUDE A NOTE ABOUT THIS STORYLINK (OPTIONAL)
Done
Add collection white

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
+

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
+

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

You are about to un-favorite a item. Click YES if you want to delete this item from MY FAVORITES.

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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