WGME (Working Solutions)

Screenshot of WGME's website
WGME Working Solutions landing page

“As Maine goes, so goes the nation” may be an outdated slogan when it comes to politics but right on point for employment trends. With an aging population, Maine is facing a worker shortage that is driving up costs and may foreshadow a nationwide trend. WGME, the CBS affiliate in Portland, spent six months in 2019 reporting on Working Solutions to the labor squeeze.

This story looks at an unusual temp agency.

The Sinclair-owned station gave the assignment to a reporter who worked alone as an MMJ. The franchise aired two stories each week but got little promotion. It was not the only solutions journalism effort at WGME, however. Reporters examined other topics through a solutions lens, including opioid addiction and prescription drug costs. WGME also had some success working with other stations in its ownership group to get video and interviews for solutions stories.

“We’re always looking for a different way to tell a story to make our stories stand out,” said assistant news director Amanda Post. “Solutions journalism training gave us a valuable perspective change to make us look at things in a different way.”


You can’t force solutions journalism to happen. Launching a franchise on the air two weeks after training might be asking too much.In a small newsroom, training all reporters to recognize solutions stories is likely to be more productive than creating a one-person franchise.Managers can encourage more solutions journalism by identifying reporters who take to the concept and steering stories their way.