1. “Covering What Works, Without the Fluff”: Join Us for a Free Webinar on April 30th

    April 16, 2014


    Photo Credit: National Council for Behavioral Health

    Join the Solutions Journalism Network and Poynter’s News University for a free one-hour interactive webinar on Wednesday, April 30 at 2:00pm (EST).

    In the webinar, we will present the case for adding solutions reporting to your toolkit and how to cover solutions using the highest journalistic standards. We’ll discuss what solutions journalism is (and isn’t), as well as how to find and vet solutions stories. We’ll also review how to use solutions journalism to strengthen beat and project reporting. If you’re interested in joining us on the web, please create an account with Poynter’s News University and join us here! For those who can’t make it, there will also be an archived version of the session available soon after the live session.

  2. New fund projects: Economic equity

    April 10, 2014

    SJN is very pleased to announce the three reporting projects that we’ll be supporting through the third Solutions Journalism Fund, this one focused on the issue of economic equity in the United States — and, more specifically, on strategies to strengthen women’s economic power and reduce women’s economic vulnerability.

    European Union

    Despite the negative economic effects of the recent recession on men’s employment as well as notable gains for women in labor force participation, women continue to be disproportionately poor in the United States and around the world. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “throughout the United States, women earn less, are less likely to own a business, and are more likely to live in poverty than men. Disparities abound regionally and by state, and, even more profoundly, race and ethnicity continue to shape women’s economic opportunities.”

    And yet, important efforts are emerging that address women’s economic inequality — at a policy level (e.g. enforcement of the Lilly Ledbetter Act), within the labor movement (organizing domestic workers), and at the intersections of diverse issues such as healthcare, education, and childcare. The three reporting projects below will surface and assess this sort of innovation: What works (or doesn’t) and how?

    The Solutions Journalism Fund for reporting on economic equity is supported by the NoVo Foundation.

    Getting out, and moving up

    Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

    Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

    Project description: There may still be a glass ceiling for women, but female former prisoners are more worried about getting unstuck from the floor than about where they’d ever bump their heads. Women who’ve done time face obstacles beyond sexism that make them more likely to be unemployed and poor: hiring biases, resume gaps, limited eligibility for public housing, and more. This, in addition to the hurdle of starting anew, isolated from loved ones and with few post-prison support mechanisms. No wonder 60% of U.S. female parolees are unemployed one year after release and 67% are re-arrested within three years.

    Yet a group of women in Los Angeles are surmounting these challenges. A New Way of Life Re-entry Project runs five sober communal transitional homes while linking women to skills training, educational and employment opportunities. Also, A New Way of Life reunifies women with their children and families, which data shows is remarkably effective in keeping parolees from falling back into crime. The group has proven that helping women overcome some of the structural obstacles to employment while offering emotional support is a winning combination. Since 1997, New Way of Life has helped over 600 women do just that—a stunning 70% success rate. [Read more...]

  3. Small bite, big gains: progress in tackling trypanosomiasis

    April 4, 2014

    NTD burden decline

    When the global health community talks about neglected tropical diseases, they’re really not exaggerating. Ask someone about HIV, malaria, or maybe even tuberculosis – they might know something about it. But trypanosomiasis? Not so much.

    April 7 is World Health Day, for which this year’s theme is “Small bite, big threat: protect yourself from vector-borne diseases” – with a focus on diseases caused by insects like mosquitos and flies. Malaria is one of the better known vector-borne diseases. Yet, at the same time, many other vector-borne diseases, such as trypanosomiasis, are of considerable health concern – and receive far less international attention.

    So, what is trypanosomiasis? It’s a disease caused by a parasite, via insect-to-human contact, that has been a major health concern in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. However, geographically the disease manifests in different ways and is known as something different depending where you live. So let’s review:

    African trypanosomiasis, commonly known as African sleeping sickness, is spread by the tsetse fly and is found only in sub-Saharan Africa. The initial symptoms include fever, joint pain, and headaches, but the disease can ultimately result in serious neurological issues and eventually death.

    Chagas disease is a type of trypanosomiasis found in Latin America that is transmitted by so-called “kissing bugs.” While the initial illness consists of mild, flu-like symptoms, chronic Chagas disease can ultimately cause heart failure. More so than other strains of trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease also can be spread through blood transfusions, as well as congenitally (mother-to-fetus).

    Globally, rates of early death and disability from all strains of trypanosomiasis declined 67% between 1990 and 2010. What has happened among the countries most affected by this disease? [Read more...]