Examples

Solutions journalism consists of rigorous, compelling, evidence-based stories about responses to pressing social problems. Solutions journalism goes beyond the traditional five Ws of journalism—who, what, when, where, why—to the missing H, the how. Model stories will contextualize a problem, analyze a response, and use compelling narratives to bring it to life. If possible, it will also discuss an idea’s limitations and draw out teachable lessons.

We encourage you to browse these examples of solutions journalism stories, separated across different types of media and different topics. The examples we list vary in how completely and how well they hit these marks, but all have at least a few of the core elements of solutions journalism.


  1. The Solutions Three: From an Average Salary of $18k to Code Masters

    August 3, 2015

    Solutions Three small logoThis post is part of the “The Solutions Three” series, a weekly newsletter highlighting some of our favorite recent solutions stories across the media landscape. Our goal with the newsletter is to bring to you different, constructive takes on recent headlines–Where are community-police relations strong? Where is ebola being fought the most successfully? How are countries successfully preventing radicalization of their youth?–and to celebrate the journalists and publications doing fantastic reporting on responses to social problems. If you have recommendations for great solutions stories, send them to samantha at solutionsjournalism dot org. And to get “The Solutions Three” sent to your inbox every Wednesday, sign up here.


    Open Access: How a Nonprofit is Giving Techies Without Tuition Their Shot

    Fast Company, July 23
    Neal Ungerleider

    Although learning the basics of coding is easy, Silicon Valley’s culture has a very real tendency to exclude others.Neal Ungerleider explores how a nonprofit in Queens, NY, is expanding tech education, turning participants with an average salary of $26k into code masters. [1,408 words]

     

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  2. 5 excellent video solutions stories

    July 27, 2015

    We’re always getting asked if solutions stories are just written pieces. In a word: nope! We’ve compiled here 5 great examples of solutions journalism on video on varying topics, some short, some long, but all taking a look at what’s working, and how people are responding to widely-shared challenges. Enjoy!


    1. Norwegian Prisons

    Vice News, August 2011
    Ryan Duffy

    The U.S has 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of its prisoners. The federal prison population has spiked almost 800% since 1980, and its recidivism rate is about 70%. Something’s not working. Vice News traveled to Norway’s Bastoey Prison to explore what they do differently. To start, the longest prison sentence is 21 years, so almost everyone is eventually released back into society. This reality effects their approach in the prisons: instead of retribution, Norway’s prison system focuses on rehabilitation and socialization so they can be more easily reintegrated upon release. Norway’s recidivism rate? 40%.

     

    2. Maine exploring alternative models of justice

    Al Jazeera America, July 16, 2015

    The Restorative Justice Project of the Mid Coast in Belfast, Maine, is experimenting with traditional Native-American methods of criminal justice. Prisoners are being let out from prison early, so long as they attend meetings with other offenders and reflect on what they did. The short video from Al Jazeera explains the process and it gives data on how the program has been successful at reducing recidivism rates.

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  3. The Solutions Three: Solving the Homelessness Problem, with Housing

    July 17, 2015

    Solutions Three small logoThis post is part of the “The Solutions Three” series, a weekly newsletter highlighting some of our favorite recent solutions stories across the media landscape. Our goal with the newsletter is to bring to you different, constructive takes on recent headlines–Where are community-police relations strong? Where is ebola being fought the most successfully? How are countries successfully preventing radicalization of their youth?–and to celebrate the journalists and publications doing fantastic reporting on responses to social problems. If you have recommendations for great solutions stories, send them to samantha at solutionsjournalism dot org. And to get “The Solutions Three” sent to your inbox every Wednesday, sign up here.


    Solving the Homelessness Problem, with Housing

    The Press Democrat, June 25
    Angela Hart

    Take a look at how a national initiative combatting homelessness has played out successfully in Sonoma County, CA. Bringing in myriad voices (from local organizations to newly-housed individuals), Angela Hart crafts a quality investigative piece, a critical examination of a solution in action. [1,948 words]

     

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