screenshot of youtube video about climate conversation in Georgia
PLAN G (Source: WXIA.com YouTube channel)

Rather than launch a solutions journalism project on a single topic, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta looked for ways to approach daily news stories and specials with a solutions focus. “My thinking is this is good journalism,” news director Jennifer Rigby said. “It helps us to be distinctive, to move beyond superficial reporting.”

Stories have ranged from a half-hour documentary on climate change to an in-depth look at animal abuse. Plan G on climate solutions was reported during the July sweeps period by Matt Pearl, the station’s chief of storytelling. Stories from the special also aired on evening newscasts. During November sweeps, WXIA explored possible solutions to problems at local puppy mills by comparing existing regulations in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Two long-form solutions stories on animal cruelty aired on the station’s weekly investigative program, The Reveal, and different versions aired on daily newscasts.

The Tegna-owned station has adopted a solutions approach to other stories, too. A day-of-air story about plans to repurpose a local detention center included examples of what other cities have done with former jails. “It added an interesting layer to what could be a mundane, smaller story,” said producer Joe Geisy.

WXIA journalists say the solutions approach can help them find a focus. “When you’re stuck finding a way to tell a story, thinking about a solutions aspect of it helps you weed through the information you have and get to the story,” one reporter said.


Use editorial meetings as an opportunity to define what solutions journalism is on a regular basis and to highlight good solutions work by the station’s journalists.Remind reporters what questions to ask to get at solutions.When a station already has a lot of on-air branding, there may not be an appetite for adding a visible solutions journalism brand.