We believe strongly that solutions journalism has a place in every newsroom, and that any reporter can quickly gain the sensibilities and skills to do it. But we’ve also learned that certain enabling factors are critical in cultivating a shift towards solutions journalism. As you embark on your journey, it’s worth reflecting on the questions below to help determine when, where, and how to incorporate solutions journalism into your reporting:
- Mission: Would the mission of your news organization be better served by focusing a greater proportion of your reporting on responses to social problems?
- Gaps in current coverage: Are there particular issue areas or beats where solutions journalism is warranted or needed? Is there a gap between coverage and awareness of a problem, and awareness of credible responses to that problem?
- Support: Do you have broad institutional and editorial support for solutions journalism?
- Leadership: Is there a leader (maybe it’s you) willing to champion and guide the solutions reporting?
- Enthusiasm: Do you have reporters with the inclination to do solutions reporting -- for example, those that are enthusiastic and persistent about investigating challenges in the community?
- Skills: Does your newsroom practice other forms of enterprise journalism? Are reporters capable of doing more than rote news coverage?