The Solutions Journalism Network advances rigorous reporting that investigates and explains solutions to urgent social problems. Reporters, editors, and news organizations can apply for financial support, mentoring, and editorial guidance through the Solutions Journalism Funds. Our goals: To rapidly expand the universe of journalists pursuing solutions-based reporting and to create a critical mass of outstanding work that will serve as models for the field.
The Solutions Journalism Funds support projects rooted in clear-eyed and compelling reporting. Stories should identify a response to a social challenge and explore the ways in which it is succeeding or not. Reporting should focus on the how, not just the what, and on what can be learned from the experience. The main goal of this sort of journalism is to yield practical insights for society about how a problem, or other, similar problems, could be more successfully addressed. Reporters also should apply a critical eye – assessing a solution’s strengths and demonstrated potential but also any relevant challenges and limitations. We encourage accountable reporting and character-driven storytelling that brings innovations to life.
The Solutions Journalism Network will pay expenses of up to $5,000 per project, but a) we’ll look kindly on more modest budgets, and b) we’ll consider higher amounts for truly extraordinary circumstances. These subsidies are intended to cover travel and other costs involved in reporting; we expect that journalists will be compensated by publishers for their time.
Journalists selected for awards will receive an orientation in solutions journalism and will benefit from ongoing mentorship from leading journalists and access to story-sourcing tools. They will also receive assistance, as needed, placing and publicizing their work through our network, website, and partnerships. In the months after the work is published, journalists we be asked to report on the impact of their journalism – on what, if any, known outcomes followed from publication.
Applicants may be editors, staff reporters or freelance journalists, working in any news medium in any country. At this point, we’re accepting applications in English only – but the resulting stories can be in any language. We want to fund work that will appear prominently in media outlets as well as on the SJN website; we will take into account the quality and reach of those outlets. We are accepting applications online; please contact us [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you must apply via hard copy instead.
The Solutions Journalism Funds will take two forms. Issue-specific funds will solicit ideas for solutions-based stories targeting a specific problem or field. These funds will have limited timeframes, depending on the urgency of relevant issues. Our ongoing, general story fund will support reporting across issue areas.
Check back for a new story fund launching in June!