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Our Impact

Since 2013, we've worked to change the culture of news by training and connecting journalists, supporting newsrooms, and partnering with educators.

  • Over 10,000 journalists have been trained by SJN, either through a live training, or through our online curriculum.
  • We've collaborated with 140 news organizations on solutions-oriented projects.
  • 17 journalism schools are using our curricula.
  • 8 communities in local cities/metropolitan areas.

Our Partners

Impact Case Studies


WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE IMPACT OF SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM

It Enhances Knowledge and Accountability.

Solutions journalism facilitates the flow of information crucial to the advancement of society. When incorporated into broader coverage of an issue, it offers a more accurate account of the state of play than does a dystopian ticker tape of corruption and failure. It also strengthens accountability by raising the bar and removing excuses for inaction. Done well, solutions journalism is as clear-eyed and rigorous as the most hardnosed investigative story. Its goal isn’t to inoculate people from society’s many problems or to blithely make them feel better about the world. It’s to provide society with the information it needs to self-correct.

It Strengthens Audience Engagement.

Solutions journalism has the power to attract new audiences and strengthen engagement. A BBC survey found that 64 percent of survey responders under 35 wanted solutions-oriented news, rather than just news that tells them about issues. Focus groups in South Central L.A. found that residents there had a strong desire for solutions-oriented news, suggesting the potential for solutions journalism to engage people from marginalized communities. Several studies have found that people are more inclined to share “positive content” than “negative content,” and there is early evidence that people linger on the page longer when reading solutions journalism.

It Helps Restore Trust

All over the world, progress is being made against seemingly intractable problems. But if people only hear about the failures, it should come as no surprise that faith in democratic institutions—including the press—is crumbling. Solutions journalism helps restore trust by showing that the system can work to solve society’s most pressing problems. Some studies have uncovered a kind of “halo effect” in which solutions journalism strengthens the perception of a newsroom’s trustworthiness. In audience surveys, readers of the The Seattle Times’ “Education Lab,” a dedicated solution-oriented series about public education, expressed more trust in the paper than did readers generally.

Kathybest

“The response that we’ve gotten from readers has been amazing...we’ve got people talking in a way that they weren’t talking before. Dialogues are happening that weren’t happening before.”

Kathy Best, The Missoulian Editor

Jrlogan

“I do think that for Taos and Taos News, having this type of story in our pocket, being exposed to the approach and understanding how it works, having the Solutions guys hold our hands and kick us in the ass a bit to write these stories this way totally changes my approach to some stories.”

J.R. Logan, former Assistant Editor at The Taos News

Donnaladd

“The solutions component is providing a way to involve the now-more-interested public in a richer conversation. The sense among our local elected [official]s, from the mayor to city council people, is that [our story] has opened doors that need to be opened for a larger conversation.”

Donna Ladd, Jackson Free Press Editor and Co-Founder

Ariannahuffington

“We talk a lot about copycat crimes. How about if we actually put the spotlight on solutions, and what is working, and generate ‘copycat solutions’?”

Arianna Huffington, former President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post

Richarddavies

“Solutions journalism is... Being humble. Considering the worldview of others who may not think the way we do. Diversity is vital to solutions journalism, because it invites us to look beyond what we know and feel today and consider what is possible tomorrow.”

Richard Davies, How Do We Fix It? podcast host

Pauledwards

"This isn’t service journalism in the traditional sense; it is rigorous and investigative journalism at its core.”

Paul Edwards, Deseret News Editor

Martynlewis

“I was asking people to apply normal journalistic judgments to stories, but instead of pushing the positive stories onto the spike, which automatically happens, we would do what I think journalism is all about, which is holding up a proper and sensible mirror to society--and that means the positive as well as the negative.”

Martyn Lewis, Television Journalist and News Anchor

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
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  • Attend story workshops and events to hone your craft
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  • Access the full Solutions Story Tracker®
  • Save favorite stories and create collections in your user profile
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
  • 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®.

Please submit a story URL

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:
  • Can be character-driven, but focuses in-depth on a response to a problem and how the response works in meaningful detail
  • Focuses on effectiveness, not good intentions, presenting available evidence of results
  • Discusses the limitations of the approach
  • Seeks to provide insight that others can use

Hearing from Hub members is the best part of our day after coffee.

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and learn about our community and tools.

If you can provide a space, we’re always happy to do in-person trainings for newsroom teams. Our core training explains what solutions journalism is and how to employ it as an additional tool in your reporting.

A member of our team will be in touch soon.

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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