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Chapter I

Introduction

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Contents
  1. I. Introduction (15m)
  2. II. Health Reporting (40m)
  3. III. Health Storytelling (15m)
Resources

Health Guide

Welcome

Perhaps more than any other subject, the health beat is ideal for solutions journalism.

Our state of health is the result of a vast, interlocking system, affected not just by medical care itself, but by developments in business, culture, environment, and economics. Every day, people are attacking health problems through all of these angles. Other places struggling with the same challenges — and that’s often everywhere — might benefit from knowing what they’ve found.

Health is a field that prizes innovation and improvement. But the main disseminators of ideas that work — academic journals — lag years behind, include only a small percentage of new ideas, and don’t reach all the people who need to know about them. Journalism, which is both more timely and geared to reach more people, can help to fill the gaps.

Health is (literally) the original home of snake oil peddled by quacks. Claims are abundant. Truth — less so. The good news: We have more data, and better data, in the health field than in any other. So we have facts about what works. With a solutions lens, journalists can dig into responses to evaluate claims and see what’s really succeeding, and what’s not — and what makes the difference.

In short, the health beat offers a myriad of fresh ideas and innovations to cover. No matter where they originate, those stories can be relevant for our own communities. We can often get data that tells us whether they are working or not. And health coverage can make a big impact by revealing promising new ideas — now, not years from now.

In this guide, we’ll explore how health journalists can use solutions journalism to strengthen their coverage, offering tips on how to find, vet and write these stories. . We'll look at some pitfalls in using data and a few data sources that are especially helpful in solutions reporting. And we’ll walk you through actual solutions stories about health — and hear from reporters and editors who are already using a solutions framework regularly in their work.

Resources

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Note

TAKE NOTE!

If you haven't already completed the Basics Toolkit, we suggest starting there to get a baseline in what solutions journalism is and how to do it.
Health Guide

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
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  • 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)

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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.

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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.

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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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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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