01. Introduction to solutions journalism /
Problems journalism rules media… but demoralises public and journalists alike. To restore meaning and win back audiences, solutions journalism is a solution for journalism.
War, terrorism, corruption, repression, crime, climate change, floods, drought, pandemics… the staples of daily newspapers, TV news, news channels, radio flashes, and news websites. Journalism is first and foremost the art of exposing problems.
- News journalism is most often focused on drama and conflict.
- Investigative journalism looks for scandals to uncover and culprits to denounce.
- Fact-checking journalism aims to re-establish the truth by tracking lies and manipulation.
The result of these “negative biases” is anxyogenic news that demoralises audiences… as well as journalists. A third of human beings now avoid informing themselves so as not to be in a “bad mood” or to feel “powerless”. (Reuters Institute, Digital News Report 2019).
Solutions journalism (SoJo) is a response to this public disaffection and a certain loss of meaning in one of the most unpopular professions on earth.
Journalism with both eyes
Solutions journalism is also a solution for journalism.
Journalism “with both eyes” that does not deny bad news but provides balance.
Journalism that not only exposes the problems but also finds concrete and convincing answers.
Humble and demanding journalism that requires a rigorous methodology to be followed, otherwise it will sink into opinion or teddy bear journalism.
The e-learning series “Solutions Journalism” aims to raise awareness and provide an introduction in 15 videos to the new journalistic genre now being practised by over a thousand media worldwide.
Why solution journalism, the new genre’s characteristics and advantages, recognising SoJo imposters… A series of four videos introducing this still little known and often caricatured journalism.
SoJo, the practical side
Three central videos to learn how to think “SoJo” and how to angle solutions when learning to reason out “Problems”. With a method for pre-investigating, conducting interviews and constructing an article, video, programme or dossier.
Solutions journalism is relevant to print, web, TV, video, radio, and podcast. Three videos to introduce you to all the treatment possibilities, from news capsule to interactive programme. With a focus on SoJo Afro, a concept still in its infancy on the continent.
Making a success of your SoJo
A checklist to verify that all solutions journalism criteria have been met, once the investigation is over. With a curtain-raiser for a new kind of “SoJo”: Reconciliation journalism to address and calm conflicts. And finally an overview of the networks that practice, federate and promote practitioners of constructive journalism.
3 things to think about
- Have you already produced an article, a report or a solutions-oriented programme? If so, do you think you can easily republish it in your newsroom? If not, why not? Is it your will or that of your editor?
- There are different types of journalism. There are also different typologies of journalism.
- Look at the home page, the front page or listen to the titles of your media over several editions and try to count those that could be described as good news or constructive articles.
A CFI project in partnership with France Médias Monde