Contents
  1. I. Introduction (10m)
  2. II. Making the Case (20m)
  3. III. Practicing Solutions Journalism (30m)
  4. IV. Case Study: The Montgomerey Advertiser (20m)
  5. V. Solutions for the Most Common Stumbling Blocks (40m)

Editor Toolkit

Making the Change Accessible

Screenshot: 'Enterprise rotation,' Bro Krift's presentation to the Montgomery Advertiser newsroom

Some reporters voiced concerns about being able to manage breaking news and deeper-dive enterprise reporting. Critically, Krift laid out a clear path forward for achieving this vision and made small changes to accommodate reporters’ workloads. "The best thing you can do is tell the newsroom you're going to do something, and then back it up," he says. Following the vision, Krift instituted both a plan and a culture of accountability for delivering daily enterprise/solutions journalism.

The Nuts & Bolts: Steps for change

  • Set story goals: The newsroom’s goal is to publish one solutions/enterprise story a day. Krift set targets for 52 short-term solutions-oriented enterprise stories and six longer-term solutions stories a year from each reporter, as well as two more ambitious newsroom-wide projects.
  • Stick to a schedule: Krift established an "enterprise rotation" with reporters assigned enterprise stories on specific days. The newsroom has a white board with each reporter's name, what they are working on, and their schedule. He has the team hold to the schedule as much as possible, with editors accountable for making sure reporters stay on task.
  • Maintain a running list of stories: All story ideas are collected in a collaborative space for the newsroom (a Google Doc).
  • Teamwork: Mini-teams have been created to allow flexibility. Reporters can self-organize to pitch in on breaking news stories so their teammates have time to keep working on enterprise stories. This creates resilience mechanisms that allow reporters to stick with a project. Krift also feels strongly that editors should work in the same space as their reporters; you’ll often him working on the floor instead of in his office.
  • Daily review: In the morning staff meeting, there is a separation of basic news from the solutions and enterprise news. As the team talks about progress in stories for each day, a clear effort is made to talk about enterprise and solutions stories first.
Setting a Vision

Communicating the Change