S is for Solutions Journalism

The Solutions Journalism Network aims to report solutions that provide practical hope.

So what is the difference between good news and solutions journalism? Here is a view from their web site.

Good news stories focus on the vision, kindness or courage of someone doing something positive.  

A common approach is to profile a person who had a personal awakening (often preceded by a personal crisis) which prompted him or her to quit a stable job to launch a charitable effort in a village in, say, Namibia.

The person finds new meaning and, though living on a shoestring, usually talks about being happier and more fulfilled.  This kind of story can be heartwarming and authentic, but is usually delivered without much critical analysis. 

Good news stories also rarely get people to think about systemic change. 

By contrast, solutions stories are driven by the problem solving — and rely on independent evidence to solve it.

Like any good story, they have interesting characters, action and tension, but they are constructed more like puzzles or mysteries than profiles or descriptive pieces. 

The tension is not grounded in an argument, but in the inherent difficulty of changing a system or making an idea come to life.

If told well, what get’s revealed is often a little treasure of understanding — an insight about how the world works.

Here is Sarika Bansal’s TEDX talk on Solutions Journalism.

You can read more about the Solutions Journalism approach at their web site.



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