Behind the scenes of the second Solutions Journalism Accelerator bootcamp
Apart from receiving grant funding to implement their projects, awarded organisations also benefit from mentoring and networking opportunities. In May, together with Solutions Journalism Network, we hosted our second Bootcamp in Brussels. During this event, our first group of grantees came together to discuss their achievements and the challenges they faced while working on their projects. We have summarised the main takeaways for you.
To uncover the advantages of writing Solutions Journalism stories, we sought input from our ten teams of grantees. It became evident that one of the significant advantages of Solutions Journalism is the positive mindset shift it brings. It flips the lens, shifting the focus from just highlighting problems to presenting solutions. This shift in perspective has allowed our grantees to explore stories that showcase effective solutions, inspire hope and encourage constructive change.
Furthermore, our grantees highlighted that Solutions Journalism offers an opportunity to enhance audience engagement. One straightforward approach is to allow the community to directly choose the topics for reporting, for example. By actively involving the audience in the journalistic process, Solutions Journalism has the potential to address their interests and concerns more effectively.
It was also noted that Solutions Journalism not only increases the relevance of stories but also opens avenues for fundraising and revenue generation. Legacy media organisations, particularly in the UK, have shown a keen interest in Solutions Journalism, recognising that audiences are increasingly fatigued by the constant negativity prevalent in traditional news reporting. Solutions Journalism offers a refreshing alternative by highlighting solutions, empowering the audience, and reigniting their enthusiasm for meaningful news coverage.
However, implementing Solutions Journalism within media organisations can present several challenges and requires a multi-faceted approach. Let's now take a look at the main obstacles our grantees face in adopting Solutions Journalism and see what concrete measures they believe could effectively address them.
Effectively explaining and communicating the concept of Solutions Journalism is crucial for gaining support from both internal stakeholders and the target audience. Here's how to do so:
Traditional media organisations tend to be hesitant when introduced to new concepts such as Solutions Journalism. Overcoming this internal buy-in barrier requires a strategic approach that transforms scepticism into enthusiasm. Here are some actionable points to address this challenge:
For successful implementation, Solutions Journalism needs to be seamlessly integrated into the newsroom workflow and supported by appropriate resources. Here are a few actions points mentioned by our grantees:
Audience input matters: Before diving into resource-intensive Solutions Journalism projects, it's worth asking your audience about the topics they're most interested in!
To create compelling Solutions Journalism stories, journalists need to find evidence-based information and highlight impactful solutions. Here are the steps that can help you with that:
A successful Solutions Journalism project requires a compelling narrative that engages readers while maintaining journalistic rigour. Our grantees suggested the following strategies:
Through the process of clarifying the concept of Solutions Journalism, identifying impactful solutions, and collaborating with others, media organisations can overcome the main obstacles mentioned by our grantees. The insights shared during the Bootcamp serve as valuable guidance for journalists seeking to harness the power of Solutions Journalism.
If you’d like to dive more into the topic, check out the many resources of the Solutions Journalism Network.