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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Housing reporting attracted funding
The Day, a daily publication based in New London, Connecticut, covering the eastern part of the state, raised $100,000 in support of its Housing Solutions Lab. The editorial project has led to the production of solutions-oriented stories such as “Branford Manor residents make a difference with mold complaints.” The revenue generated came from the local community foundation The Day had received financial support from previously, an organization referred by the first foundation, and an audience-focused fundraising campaign. The Day participated in the Lab for Journalism Funding organized by the Local Media Foundation, which also acts as fiscal sponsor for the news organization.
Community engagement & action
Financial support secured from deep engagement
Since launching in 2022, The Green Line (TGL), a hyperlocal news outlet that serves young Torontonians and those living in underserved areas, has blended financial sustainability with deep community engagement, all while offering coverage of tangible solutions. At the heart of its operating model is the Action Journey strategy, which involves explaining and investigating the root of problems people face, convening community-focused events with discussions around those issues, and developing reporting as well as resources that can help address them. An example of its solutions coverage and engagement is the project “Living With Covid in Toronto.” TGL has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audiences and communities it serves, as well as from local institutions with which it has partnered on various projects. Its revenue has grown by 125% from 2022 to 2023, with a mix coming from partnerships; foundation and government grants; and readers. Anita Li, founder and executive director of The Green Line, has said solutions journalism plays a crucial role in attracting support from grantmakers and audiences alike.
The solutions story that inspired Ecuador’s tourism minister
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.
A newspaper got funding to cover democracy solutions
La Raza (2023): The Field Foundation of Illinois provided a $25,000 grant to La Raza, a leading Spanish newspaper in Chicago, to support its coverage of democracy and the Hispanic community ahead of the 2024 election cycle. Moving beyond the usual horse race coverage, Jesús Del Toro, the publication's director and general manager, said La Raza would be “transparent in what is covered and how we do it, opening our reporting to include our audience’s perspectives and needs regarding politics and elections, and producing content that showcases local solutions and initiatives.” It also plans to produce “educational materials, such as voter guides, to help our immigrant readers to better understand democracy and its process in the USA,” explained Del Toro. (La Raza participated in the 2023 edition of the Advancing Democracy Fellowship, led by SJN, Hearken and Trusting News.)
Community engagement & action
A popular collaborative’s climate reporting shifted behavior
Climate Solutions, a collaborative of news outlets convened by the public media partnership StateImpact Pennsylvania, wanted to get feedback about its project from the community. It formed a listening group of nine people, which it assembled six times between 2022 and 2023, and asked how their behaviors had changed as a result of reading climate solutions stories produced by the collaborative. Those stories included coverage of home energy savings and responses to flooding, as well as a seven-part video series titled “What can I do about climate change,” created in response to a question that emerged from its engagement work. Twelve of the top 50 performing stories on StateImpact Pennsylvania’s website were solutions oriented. Participants in the group unanimously shared how they learned from the information and talked about it at work or in their personal lives. Some described a growing awareness of climate change and taking small actions in their day-to-day lives to mitigate its consequences or getting involved in local climate-focused projects.
An emphasis on solutions journalism helped secure two major grants
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.

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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How has solutions journalism made a difference in your world? Add your story to the Impact Tracker.