NOT REGISTERED? REGISTER HERE

Chapter I

Introduction

Expand 2x Expand hover 2x
Close sidemenu Close sidemenu hover
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

Welcome

Welcome

Dear editor,

If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably interested in bringing solutions journalism into your newsroom. You may have already read the basic Solutions Journalism Toolkit in our Learning Lab, which focuses on the core tenets of solutions journalism and the essentials of reporting great stories. But you still have more questions that get at the higher-level cultural and strategic shifts that fall to you as a newsroom leader:

  • How will your staff find the time and resources to do rigorous solutions-oriented reporting, the kind that asks you to go beyond simply describing the problem to working across beats, across disciplines, and across geographies to surface credible responses?
  • How can you communicate the value of solutions journalism to reporters and readers, especially the skeptics?
  • How do you institutionalize solutions journalism into newsroom practice on a consistent and ongoing basis?

Editors must intentionally lead a transition towards solutions journalism. They set newsroom priorities and determine how stories and series are framed. In many cases, we’ve seen how one enthusiastic, supportive editor can draw out excellent solutions-oriented work, even in the face of institutional hurdles. We’ve also observed that even if newsroom staffers are excited about the idea of solutions journalism, it takes thoughtful, deliberate actions by their editors to make it a part of day-to-day practice.

Here’s the good news: you’re not alone, and you’re certainly not the first to tackle these challenges. In fact, the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) has partnered with over 180 newsrooms to support the integration of solutions journalism into newsroom practice. In our 2017 survey of those partners, 54% of respondents stated that they faced various barriers to practicing or implementing solutions journalism. We’ve learned a lot about the challenges newsroom leaders can face, and we’ve gathered advice from editors who have made the transition to more solutions-oriented coverage. This guide is meant to distill the collective knowledge of these newsroom leaders to prepare those who, like you, might just be embarking on this journey to bring solutions journalism into their work.

In this document, you’ll find tips for overcoming the most common challenges to getting solutions journalism off the ground. You’ll hear directly from editors who have addressed concerns about resources and time, and who have found ways to do solutions journalism at multiple scales – from an individual story, to a series of stories, to configuring an entire newsroom around solutions and enterprise reporting. We will arm you with talking points to counter skeptics, and strategies to organize and manage solutions journalism projects and teams.

As an editor, you are essential to catalyzing this transition; your support and enthusiasm is critical to practice change. We’ve written this toolkit to support you, and we hope you’ll talk back. tweet, or give us a call. We welcome all advice that helps us improve this guide and makes it more useful to the growing network of editors practicing solutions journalism.

This toolkit was produced by Natalie Chang and the staff of the Solutions Journalism Network.

Editor Toolkit

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.

1
Arrow 1

Name and describe your collection

Arrow 1
2

Add Stories

Arrow 1
3

Add external links at any time

4

Add to your collection over time and share!

1
2

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.

3

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

Thank you to SurveyHero.com for letting us create online surveys for free