A phone showing the sound level of 83 decibels leans against a dark colored drink on a bar
WBBM restaurant noise story (Source: WBBM)

What does solutions journalism look like on television? It looks like good storytelling, with engaging characters and strong visuals. And it has other elements: details and data that provide evidence of how a response to a problem is working, as well as limitations to the approach.

A solutions frame can be applied to long-form investigative reports or shorter day-of-air stories. What’s required is a clear understanding that solutions journalism stories:

  • Feature a response to a problem and how it works
  • Provide evidence of results, looking at effectiveness and not just intentions
  • Discuss limitations and avoid hype or fluff

Comparisons are often central to solutions stories. In many cases, a problem faced in one community or neighborhood has been addressed by another. Sharing outcomes and lessons learned can empower viewers to take action or help them hold those in power accountable for not acting.

This section includes examples of solutions-based stories from multiple local television stations. You’ll find links to more in the case studies.

“Journalism is journalism and you can find a way to tell these stories on TV.”

Phil Prazan headshot
Phil Prazan
Political reporter, KXAN (Austin, TX)

“It’s liberating to approach stories with a different angle, to show another side of the story we’ve never given exposure to.”

Sybil Hoffman headshot
Sybil Hoffman
Assistant News Director, KTVK (Phoenix, AZ)