Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Victor Filippov at Unsplash

Solutions Reporting: Fixing a Major Problem in Journalism

Our readers are weary and switching off of the important stories (and flocking en masse to Brangelina). One organization is promoting a way to tackle reader indifference and journalist burnout through a simple, but fundamental change in reporting philosophy.

Solutions Journalism is a term you may already have heard floating around. It’s been discussed in Nieman Reports, The New York Times, MediaShift and even has its own Wikipedia page (the modern blue ribbon of cultural relevance). Yet, what SoJo actually is still eludes many.

How is Solutions Journalism different?

Truthfully speaking, solutions journalism isn’t new.

“We’re putting a name to what people have been doing for a long time,” explains Samantha McCann, Director of Communities at the Solutions Journalist Network. “We just don’t think there’s enough of it.”

SoJo is different than feel good pieces, which (although they are a sorely needed form of work for separate reasons) revolve around one-off stories or complete successes. A solutions piece isn’t necessarily looking for quick fixes, or even fixes that have already been proven to work. It also isn’t about looking for a problem that has been neatly solved or happy endings.

Why do it?

It’s a common saying in the journalism industry that if it bleeds, it leads. You only need to glance at a newspaper to see that journalists have an affinity for bad news. The strategy of playing into the public’s desire to know what they should be wary of has served journalism so far, but it’s widely recognized that audiences are worn out by bad news.

Written by

The global network for the media industry. Helping publications and companies find, hire and manage journalists, photographers and videographers.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store