WRITING | Solutions Journalism

Posted on 15/11/2013


I’ve just learned about ‘solutions journalism’ and see this as powerful process of engaging or initiating a public discussion. I first saw the term this morning on World Crunch which is running a series on Solutions Journalism that tackles one urgent issue each month, with articles from around the world that focus on innovative solutions. This is a far cry from the incendiary and misleading journalism we see as part of the news cycle. It affirms the importance of research, depth and long form in contemporary journalism, rather than unrelenting opinion and editorialising.

Further investigation revealed the Solutions Journalism Network which defines SoJo as “critical and clear-eyed reporting that investigates and explains credible responses to social problems”. Additionally, the Solutions Journalism Network explains “the essence of the best solutions journalism: deep dives, critical assessments, and compelling stories about the ideas, models, policies, organizations, and people working to solve our toughest problems”.

This is an inspiring idea that can breathe new life into media and journalism through a more engaging and engaged methodology. It can fuse with other disciplines like design and sociology while drawing on the rich pools of data freely available (like data journalism). Thinking about this kind of approach in my field of place making and planning, I can see a greater contribution of journalism to the making of cities as they continue restructuring and renewal. Like slow journalism, it has something to contribute to place writing and writing about the everyday. It’s the kind of journalism that takes time and serves the interests of civic conversation and human development. It can provide insight into how cities evolve and adapt.

Source: Solutions Journalism Network, http://solutionsjournalism.org/tools/sojo-checklist/

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