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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Community engagement & action
The Journal
Following the publication of a solutions story about Afghan refugees in Manhattan, Kansas, The Journal’s publisher, the Kansas Leadership Center, partnered with the Afghan Resettlement Team to host a block party and cultural celebration. In an article by the Manhattan Mercury, Fatima Jaghoori, one of the organizers, said, “It really makes everyone feel at home, everyone feels safe.” U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, who co-sponsored the federal Afghan Adjustment Act of 2023, was in attendance, saying he had the “desire to make certain that people feel welcome to a community and to [the] country.”
Organic spread
Sanne Breimer
Journalist and trainer Sanne Breimer organized a retreat in May 2023 for fellow reporters integrating three of her areas of expertise: solutions journalism, yoga and decoloniality. This first-of-its-kind event brought together eight women from Europe and Africa ( Interest also came from people in the UAE, Nepal and the U.S. Breimer got the idea for the event after participating in SJN’s 2022 Train-the-Trainers program.
The provincial government of Neuquén, in west-central Argentina, is one of the sponsors of the regional newspaper Río Negro, which syndicates content from the solutions-focused national online publication Red/Acción. As part of the broader funding package, Río Negro requested that money directly support the republication of solutions stories, such as those produced as part of the project “Campaña del mes” (campaign of the month: The project, produced with the support of the SJN LEDE Fellowship, highlights different initiatives that people can engage with around specific social causes.
Community engagement & action
The Emancipator
Building on a solutions story about how a Boston hospital is helping breastfeeding Black mothers and their babies, The Emancipator organized a community event called “Breastfeeding While Black,” which also was the culmination of a yearlong project on health equity. Doulas, lactation consultants and doctors attended, as did new and expectant mothers. They all shared their experiences, challenges and ideas in a forum that garnered trust and created a sense of belonging. One mother, Laura, called it a “beautiful and nourishing circle, friendly, safe space.” Jennifer Obasohan, another mother in attendance that day, said, “I’m just so glad that today’s event was able to take place, because there is a village, there is support out there.”
Reasons to be Cheerful
The solutions journalism-focused digital publication Reasons to be Cheerful received $100,000 in funding from the Walton Family Foundation to produce “Waterline,” a reporting project surfacing solutions stories at the nexus of water, climate and food. Through two stories per month, the project is highlighting the new and innovative ways people are protecting and sustaining the resource all food systems rely on. The grant covers costs for story production and promotion, as well as subsequent impact tracking. The series of 24 stories began in July 2023 and will run over the course of one year. The proposal to funders promised to center the voices of those whose lives most closely intersect with water issues — food producers, energy workers, rural residents and Indigenous groups — to show how these communities are deeply involved in pragmatic, non-ideological sustainability solutions, and the surprising intersectionality between their work and the work of conservationists.
Reasons to be Cheerful, a digital publication dedicated to solutions journalism received $30,000 in funding from the Wellcome trust to produce “The Great Recovery,” a reporting project examining “how a surge in innovation, outreach, access and attention to equity is improving [U.S.] mental health systems.” The grant covers costs for story production and promotion, as well as subsequent impact tracking. The series of seven stories ran over the course of two weeks between August and September. The proposal to funders emphasized the need to shift the incomplete narrative about “countries across the world buckling under the weight of a mental health crisis,” by telling a fuller story that includes viable responses. In supporting this work, the trust recognized that stories of positive changes are lacking in the broader media narrative about mental health system failures.

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.