Ask journalism professors today to name the biggest challenges they face in their teaching and, like many working journalists, they talk about bracing their students for the broken trust between communities and news providers and helping students develop ways to engage — or re-engage — audiences fatigued by the onslaught of negative news.
Kathryn Thier, a pioneer in bringing solutions journalism to college classrooms, has observed that studying solutions journalism forces students to analyze how and why stories are framed, constructed and sourced, giving them a deeper understanding of journalism as a whole. Solutions reporting is a skill that newsrooms increasingly demand, and it’s a skill more and more journalism programs are teaching. We offer a range of resources to support journalism educators who want to incorporate this approach into their teaching.
The Catalyst Journalism Project, housed at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, is a multicourse program combining the traditional methods of investigative journalism with the practice of solutions journalism, which Brent Walth, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, helped develop. Catalyst also hosts the annual Solutions Journalism Educator Academy, a two-day program for journalism educators seeking to develop expertise in teaching solutions journalism.
J-School Curriculum Builder
If you are a journalism school professor interested in introducing solutions journalism to your students, this toolkit, housed in our Learning Lab, provides the materials you need. Crafted by journalism professors who have pioneered the teaching of solutions journalism, it includes a wide range of course materials, including syllabuses, in-class exercises, homework assignments and an FAQ that you can apply to an entire course or a module.
Additional Resources for Journalism Educators
The Whole Story, our Medium blog, includes a section devoted to journalism education. That section features dozens of interviews with educators who are teaching solutions journalism in myriad ways, as well as posts written by them and additional resources and opportunities.
Making the Grade, a monthly newsletter, includes everything you need to stay in the know about all the latest doings in the realm of solutions journalism education, including conference sessions, training opportunities, research and blog posts. You can sign up here.
We host an invitation-only Google group just for journalism educators. It’s a great peer-to-peer resource where educators collaborate with and support colleagues who are incorporating solutions journalism into their teaching. Please email us to request an invitation.