Participants in a Student Media Challenge event speak with each another

Impact Stories

News organizations around the world are transforming journalism — and their communities. See how a global network of news organizations and journalists uses solutions journalism to strengthen communities, advance equity, build trust, increase civic engagement, depolarize public discourse and discover new sources of revenue.

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El País
Reporter Gabriela Barzallo wrote a solutions story titled “¿Puede la bioeconomía tomar el relevo al petróleo en la Amazonia ecuatoriana?” (“Can the bioeconomy replace oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon?”) for the Americas section of El País, one of the most extensive and trustworthy Spanish-language outlets, in June 2023. Shortly after, Ecuador’s minister of tourism, Niels Olsen, reached out to discuss some of the nonextractive economic practices she explored in her article, including ecotourism. In a plan for the country’s tourism industry outlined at the beginning of 2024, the minister specifically mentioned his intention to promote sustainable and entrepreneurial forms of tourism that would benefit rural and indigenous communities.
Prime Progress
Prime Progress, a Nigerian digital publication with an editorial focus on social impact and accountability journalism, has been publishing since 2021. By emphasizing its solutions journalism, it raised $50,000 from the Media Development Investment Fund’s Nigeria Media Innovation Program (disbursed in tranches over two years) and $20,000 from the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, a research center based at the University of Southern California. The latter grant will fund a project dedicated to “stories about how people are responding to social problems based on faith and spiritual convictions,” which will begin publishing content in early 2024, supported by the creation of a fellowship designed to train and commission writers.
Amsterdam News
In April 2023, the Amsterdam News, a Black-owned newspaper in New York City, published a solutions-oriented series titled “Hard Labor” on the state and history of labor relations in the city, with a particular focus on the construction trades. It subsequently revived its Labor Awards Breakfast, an annual event dedicated to celebrating people in the organized labor community, which, in addition to the labor-focused reporting, provided an opportunity to rekindle relationships. A couple of unions sponsored the event, increasing their financial support of the publication by 50% and 110%. The coverage also led to a growth in subscriptions from individuals living in public housing in New York City. The newspaper’s president and chief revenue officer, Siobhan "Sam" Bennett, said: “The Labor community was appreciative not only of the special section but also of the breakfast which gave construction trades leaders the opportunity to speak to today's critical and under addressed issues."
Medill School of Journalism
Beginning in fall of 2023, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, started teaching a Social Justice and Solutions Journalism specialization as part of its Master of Science in Journalism. The focus of the course is on “journalism that makes the world a better place, revealing inequities and injustices while also highlighting solutions, best practices and the triumphs and voices of regular people.”
Crescent University
A growing number of universities in Nigeria are offering solutions journalism modules and courses to their students. This expansion came from the impetus of two educators, Rasheed Adebiyi and Jamiu Folarin, who decided to incorporate this editorial approach in their teaching as part of a Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative fellowship (coordinated by Science Africa in Kenya and Nigeria Health Watch, with the support of SJN). While the National Universities Commission, a government body that reviews and approves curriculum, did not include solutions journalism as a compulsory subject in journalism schools in its recent review, it now “allows universities to include it as a standalone course or module within existing journalism programs,” said Folarin, lecturer and researcher at Crescent University, Abeokuta. Eight higher education institutions provide courses or modules that include solutions journalism (Crescent University, Fountain University, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Osun State University, Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Summit University, Iresi Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro). In addition, Folarin and Adebiyi are fostering an educator network, SoJo Hubs in six locations across the country, the promotion of SoJo student clubs, a Student Media Challenge modeled after the one convened by SJN, and solutions journalism sessions at two academic conferences.
Los Angeles Times
In the aftermath of a political scandal roiling the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Times published a series of solutions-oriented editorials about reforming local government. The series, titled “Fixing City Hall,” won the News Leaders Association’s Burl Osborne Editorial and Opinion Award. The judges stated that the work “went beyond the local issue to explore what has become a national issue and also offered logical solutions to the mess unfolding within the Los Angeles City Council.”

How solutions journalism works — in Kampala, Uganda

Former Solutions Journalism Network LEDE Fellows Caleb Okereke of Minority Africa and Abaas Mpindi of Media Challenge Initiative illustrate the impact of solutions journalism on their work and how its spread can counteract harmful stereotypes of Africa.

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