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Solutions Journalism is an approach to reporting that focuses on answers to social issues as well as personal ones.
What is Solutions Journalism?
“What is the point if the commodity you are selling or writing is not even being received properly by the people who are reading it,” Kavita Chandran, a Consultant and Journalism Trainer at Thomson Reuters Foundation of Singapore, emphasized, to contextualise Solutions Journalism today.
Solution Journalism is an approach for journalists to ensure their stories get read, news consumers are informed about something new, and are given hope instead of news fatigue. Solutions Journalism looks at effectiveness, not intention, or the promotion of someone’s idea. The written story itself provides readers with the solution, backed by credible evidence. The goal of this journalistic approach is to give people a more authentic view of addressed issues, thus helping to promote civil rights more effectively.
Jose Torres Jr., Editor-at-Large, LiCAS News, Philippines, gave an example of how he spent five months with the community before even writing the first word, and two months in a military camp before he finally got around to writing that story. “Be brave and do the investigative stories,” he said.
Four Pillars of Solutions Journalism
1. A Solutions Story focuses on a RESPONSE to a social problem, how that response has worked, or why it hasn’t.
2. The best solution reporting distills the lessons that make the answer relevant and accessible to others. In other words, it offers insight.
3. Solutions Journalism looks for evidence – data or qualitative results that show effectiveness (or lack thereof).
4. Reporting on limitations is essential.