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About

WHAT IS SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM? +

Solutions journalism...

  • Can be character-driven, but focuses in-depth on a response to a problem and how the response works in meaningful detail
  • Focuses on effectiveness, not good intentions, presenting available evidence of results
  • Discusses the limitations of the approach
  • Seeks to provide insight that others can use
Tell me more about the Solutions Journalism Network, the Solutions Story Tracker, and SolutionsU +
  • Solutions Journalism Network is a non-profit organization that trains and connects journalists to cover what’s missing in today’s news: how problems are being solved.
  • Solutions Story Tracker™ is a curated, searchable database of solutions journalism stories—rigorous reporting about responses to social problems. The Solutions Journalism Network created and maintains the database.
  • SolutionsU™ is a platform that connects educators and students to credible news stories from the Solutions Story Tracker® and to tools to incorporate those stories into their teaching and learning. SolutionsU™ supports faculty across disciplines in teaching about societal problems through the lens of solutions. The Solutions Journalism Network created and maintains this platform.
HOW DO YOU FIND THESE STORIES? +

We get stories through three routes: (1) stories that SJN knows about because they’re being produced by our newsroom partners, (2) stories that individuals, particularly members of our Hub, submit to the Story Tracker for our review, and (3) stories that staff & others stumble upon. (We’re currently thinking through the last route, trying to develop a system for searching for and harvesting solutions journalism from the news at large)

HOW DO I SUBMIT A STORY TO BE INCLUDED IN YOUR DATABASE? +

You can submit a solutions journalism story here, if you are registered member. (It is free to join.)

HOW DO YOU VET STORY SUBMISSIONS? +

First of all, it has to be solutions journalism. Stories are only selected for inclusion in the Story Tracker if they meet all the requirements for solutions journalism, i.e.:

  • Does the story focus primarily on a response to a social problem?
  • Does it examine how the response works in meaningful detail?
  • Does the story present evidence of results linked to the response?
  • Does the story convey an insight or teachable lesson?
  • Is the story well reported, credible and balanced?
  • Does it talk about limitations of the approach?
  • Does it avoid advocacy, hero worship, puffery, and editorializing?

We include some stories that check these boxes, but we’re even more likely to include stories that additionally (5) and (6).

HOW DO YOU TAG STORIES? +

We add stories one-by-one, taking time to critically read/watch/listen to the narrative in order to tag the story not only for the basic info like the author, date, news outlet, but also to (1) craft a short searchable description of the story, (2) geocode each story based on the location of the reported-on response, (3) tag relevant issue areas/subjects for each story, using the Foundation Center’s taxonomy, and (4) tag each story by Success Factors, our own unique taxonomy that offers a nuanced look at the ingredients of success for a particular solution.

WHERE DID YOUR ISSUE AREAS TAXONOMY COME FROM? +

Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

WHAT ARE SUCCESS FACTORS? +

Success Factors are the tactics that are critical to a response’s success or failure. What social change strategy did this solution use that made it work (or not work)?

WHERE DID YOUR SUCCESS FACTORS COME FROM? +

We developed this in-house. It was a long process, headed by Tina Rosenberg, Taylor Nelson, and Matthew Zipf, which involved reading hundreds of stories to see what tactics were critical to making a response work. Much solutions journalism tells the story of a response that succeeded where others had failed, and seeks to identify how — what did this response do differently? We tried to identify, name and classify all these different tactics.

WHY ARE SUCCESS FACTORS IMPORTANT? +

The same Success Factor can power all kinds of social initiatives. For example, “addressing underlying issues” or “building trust” can lead to successful responses in education, health, criminal justice and many other fields. People working in all these fields can benefit by learning how successful programs use these tactics. And using the focus of Success Factors to make these connections helps people to understand the systems that create social change.

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TAKE A QUICK TOUR
I WORK IN, TEACH, OR STUDY JOURNALISM Not a journalist, but I want to learn about solutions.
AS A MEMBER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
  • Access our training curriculum or attend a training
  • Share your stories
  • Join a local community of journalists
  • Attend story workshops and events to hone your craft
  • Get funding and additional support
  • Access the full Solutions Story Tracker®
  • Save favorite stories and create collections in your user profile
TO JOIN, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (*=REQUIRED)

Not a journalist? Register here instead.

Here is what you will get:
  • Unlimited access to thousands of stories from around the world
  • First look and access to new features, tools, and resources
  • Curated newsletters with top stories
  • Invitations to SolutionsU community events
  • And much more to come…
It’s easy and will take less than 2 minutes.

Journalist or J-School? Register here instead.

Help us grow our database of solutions stories! Please enter the following information. Our staff will review the story, and if it meets our criteria (see below), it will be added to the Solutions Story Tracker®.

Please submit a story URL

Great suggestion! So great, that we already have that story listed in the Solutions Story Tracker®. View it here.

It may take a few weeks to see your piece in the Solutions Story Tracker®, as we have a backlog of submissions longer than Ben Hur that we’re diligently working to eliminate. We appreciate your patience.

SJN'S CRITERIA FOR GOOD SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM:
  • Can be character-driven, but focuses in-depth on a response to a problem and how the response works in meaningful detail
  • Focuses on effectiveness, not good intentions, presenting available evidence of results
  • Discusses the limitations of the approach
  • Seeks to provide insight that others can use

Hearing from Hub members is the best part of our day after coffee.

If you want to get:

JOIN TODAY! It only takes 2 minutes and its completely free.

Please log in to continue:

Not a member yet? Click here to sign up,
and learn about our community and tools.

Solutions journalism...

To learn more about SolutionsU™ and how it is connected to the Solutions Journalism Network and Solutions Story Tracker®, visit our FAQ page.

Please upload a PDF or Word Document

I am the author (copyright holder) of the contents of the teaching material I am sharing with SolutionsU™. SolutionsU™ and members of the SolutionsU™ community are allowed to reuse and adapt this material for non-commercial purposes as long as they give me attribution as described by this creative commons license.  I understand that SolutionsU™ encourages the reuse, adaption and dissemination of the material on its website for noncommercial purposes.

To get access to these teaching resources, you need to join the SolutionsU™ community.

What does this mean? You will get access to all of the educator and student resources. You will also be included in the SolutionsU™ newsletter.

You can register here or here.

You are viewing the Solutions U Tutorial

Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers:

Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

Photos are licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Burak Kebapci and SCY.

Photos are licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) and are credited to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Conference attendee listening to speaker, Jenifer Daniels / Colorstock getcolorstock.com.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Sonia Narang

WHICH COLLECTION DO YOU WANT TO ADD THIS STORYLINK TO?
+ CREATE A NEW COLLECTION
INCLUDE A NOTE ABOUT THIS STORYLINK (OPTIONAL)
Done
Add collection white

Collections are versatile, powerful and simple to create. From a customized course reader to an action-guide for an upcoming service-learning trip, collections illuminate themes, guide inquiry, and provide context for how people around the world are responding to social challenges.

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Name and describe your collection

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Add Stories

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Add external links at any time

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Add to your collection over time and share!

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Add stories to your collection from your list of Favorites below, or add stories directly to a collection from Search or Discover. Anytime you see the collection icon you can add a story. Just click the icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

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This is a powerful feature to provide context and additional information to enhance your collection. Add a link to a relevant website, and a short description about how the resource relates to your collection.

ADD STORY FROM FAVORITES
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Add stories directly from your Favorites, or Search for stories in our database.

If you come across a story you want to add to a collection, click the Collection icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

TITLE
NEWS OUTLET & JOURNALIST
DATE & LOCATION
THERE IN THIS COLLECTION:
THERE IN THIS COLLECTION:
ADD STORY FROM FAVORITES
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Add stories directly from your Favorites, or Search for stories in our database.

If you come across a story you want to add to a collection, click the Collection icon and follow the instructions on your screen.

TITLE
NEWS OUTLET & JOURNALIST
DATE & LOCATION
DONE

You are about to un-favorite a item. Click YES if you want to delete this item from MY FAVORITES.