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: Doctor, doctor, give me the news…

    May 31, 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.


    St. Michael’s Hospital health team offers prescription for poverty

    Toronto Star, May 23
    Catherine Porter

    The link between poverty & higher rates of illness are undeniable. People in low-income brackets are more likely to suffer from heart disease, lung cancer, depression, & more. Now, one Toronto hospital is incorporating everything from legal aid to social work into physician’s visits. Catherine Porter on innovative “poverty treatment.”  [1,248 words]

    [Read more…]


  2. The Solutions Three: New Orleans ends veterans homelessness a year ahead of schedule

    May 26, 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.


    New Orleans ends veterans homelessness a year ahead of schedule

    NationSwell, January 20
    Chris Peak

    It was anything but (the Big) Easy. But New Orleans managed to end veteran homelessness this past January, a full year ahead of the curve (many U.S. cities are trying to end vet homelessness by the end of 2015). Chris Peak dissects how continual innovation and creating a “continuum of care” attributed to their success. [1,206 words]

    [Read more…]


  3. No magic wand needed: How Bangladesh and Mozambique tackle malnutrition

    May 18, 2015

    Since 2013, SJN has partnered with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to share instances of exceptional progress and success in public health (known as “positive deviants”) using research and data produced at IHME. This weekly series highlights a timely example of positive deviance and shows you what locality has seen the most gains. We don’t, however, always know why such successes took place, which is why we look to journalists like you, in hopes that you’ll use these data as inspiration for stories. Run with the data. Report. Research. Find out how these countries are succeeding–and publish what you find with the world.


    ihme

    In the News: Last week, someone asked Bill Gates what he would do, right now, if he had a magic wand and could solve one global health problem. Gates’ response wasn’t polio or even malaria, two infectious diseases that he and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation want to end within his lifetime. Instead, Gates said he’d cure child malnutrition, a stubbornly massive problem with few “easy” solutions. The World Health Assembly, a major annual meeting where global health policy and agendas are shaped, starts today (May 18). One of the first agenda items calls for updates on nutrition.

    What’s the problem? Malnutrition often stems from more deeply-rooted structural challenges, inequalities, and sociopolitical conflicts that can’t be easily fixed by improving supply chain bottlenecks or funding ground-breaking medical research. After all, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to vaccinate children against having too little food. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of children who died from protein-energy malnutrition (nearly 226,000) decreased by 36%. While this improvement is notable, the global rate of decline has slowed since 2005 and a number of countries lost more children to malnutrition in 2013 than in 1990.

    Where is progress taking place? A number of countries have recorded tremendous progress against child malnutrition – and many of them once experienced some of the world’s highest death tolls from malnutrition. In a 2010 report called Undernutrition: What Works? A review of policy and practice, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Brazil, and Peru were highlighted as success stories in addressing nutrition challenges. [Read more…]