August 25, 2016

Solutions journalism is a “howdunnit” approach that offers rigorous and compelling coverage about responses to social problems — reporting that adheres to the highest of journalistic standards. This approach makes watchdog reporting even stronger. Here are other strengths of solutions journalism.

Solutions Journalism Provides Context

Journalism that fails to cover responses to social problems provides an inaccurate and biased view of reality. By regularly highlighting problems without including responses, journalists can convey a false sense that people haven’t tried to fix things or don’t know how to do any better. Solutions-oriented journalism can, in many cases, provide a more accurate picture of the world.

Solutions Journalism Increases Reader Engagement

Research shows that solutions stories are more likely to be shared on social media than traditional stories. This is partly because they can make people feel powerful, less likely to tune out and less apathetic or cynical about the problem.

Solutions Journalism Can Have an Impact

By showing how different institutions approach problems, solutions journalism can advance the public discourse. Instead of “he said, she said” coverage, solutions-oriented journalism can lead to more constructive conversations. People need models for change — so do societies.

Taken from Solutions Journalism in Every Newsroom, a self-directed course at Poynter NewsU.

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Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current…
Vicki Krueger

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