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5 impactful stories from our Solutions Journalism Accelerator grantees


5 impactful stories from our Solutions Journalism Accelerator grantees

Picture of Marjan Tillmans
Marjan Tillmans — Project Manager
December 11, 2023

While journalists usually define news as what's gone wrong, solutions journalism tries to expand this notion by emphasising that what works is also newsworthy.

By adding rigorous, evidence-based coverage of solutions, journalists can tell the whole story.

The Solutions Journalism Accelerator is a programme delivering grant funding, mentoring, coaching, resources and knowledge transfer to support solutions-focused development journalism in European news organisations. 

Our first ten grantees have finalised their one-year projects and we would like to share their favourite stories with you.

Let Girls Learn - The Evening Standard (United Kingdom)

Let Girls Learn is a multi-media reporting project from the Evening Standard. Over the period of one year, they shone a light on innovations and solutions that are helping girls to fulfil their right to education and healthy, productive futures. In a series of  12 visually powerful stories from around the world, they spotlighted the work of global change-makers and local heroes striving to ensure that every girl can learn and flourish. 

Their favourite story and one of the best received is about how a focus on girls has nurtured the rebirth of one of Africa’s great wildlife parks. They also published a podcast.

Evening Standard Credit Radhika Aligh
Photo credit: Radhika Aligh

“Our story on the rebirth of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park after the civil war is our favourite. It illustrates an unexpected link between girls’ education, wildlife conservation and climate change mitigation and highlights the incredible vision and passion of those working to preserve this unique environment by nurturing human potential.”

-Ros Russell, Evening Standard

You can find all stories from their project here: Let Girls Learn

Women scientists from the Global South work on the major challenges facing humanity - BurdaForward (Germany)

BurdaForward (through their brand FOCUS Online) together with Zeitenspiegel Reportagen portrayed 12 women scientists from the Global South who are researching solutions to the major problems facing humanity. Through their scientific work, important insights into problems like nutrition, health, education and more are presented together with possible solutions.

They would like to highlight their story about the life's work of Chilean geographer Pilar Cereceda. For decades she has been researching a technology to produce drinking water from fog and thus improve the water supply for people worldwide.

Photo credit: Daniela Lukšič

“The young author who wrote the story is actually a videographer, she put so much enthusiasm into the research that we were fascinated. Once she had found her topic, she defended it with all her might. And then implemented it brilliantly. You can hear and see in her video how important this research was for her personally. It is the story that was realised online with great care in a different way from the stories before. Much more appealing. The topic is also great, of course - Collecting fog in the desert.” 

-Malte Arnsperger, BurdaForward and Uschi Entenmann, Zeitenspiegel

You can find all stories from their project here: 12 Frauen, 12 Ideen

Chain reactions: How the green revolution can reshape sustainable development - Hostwriter and Perspective Daily (Germany)

In their project ‘Chain Reactions’, Hostwriter, through their publication Unbias the News, in consortium with Perspective Daily, explored how green alternatives in German consumption, like energy and food, have knock-on effects on local societies elsewhere. Through cross-border solutions journalism they unpacked the promise and the potential impacts on poverty, food security and water in their series.

The story they are most proud of is their investigation into the “solution” of deep-sea mining.

Hostwriter illustration by Juan Carlos Hernández
illustration by Juan Carlos Hernández

“I’m proud of this story where we stretched the concept of solutions journalism to fit an in-depth investigative piece. It was very challenging to understand all the many competing narratives on how deep sea mining can save the world or destroy it, and we spoke to countless experts, academics and businesspeople to try to provide the public with the information they need to evaluate this shadowy industry that is aiming to generate billions of dollars and provide the world with metals for the energy transition.” 

-Tina Lee, Unbias the News

All the stories within their project can be found here (Unbias the News) and here (Perspective Daily).

Let’s Show Kids a World of Solutions - WoW! News (France)

Wow! News, which adapts solutions journalism for 8–12-year-olds, met young people in the Global South who are finding ways to fix the problems that confront their communities. Through their project “A World of Solutions”, they let them tell their stories, in English and French, to young Europeans eager to understand how they, too, can change their world for the better.

Their favourite story is Nav’s Rubbish Solution

 “The age at which Nav was inspired to work on a solution to a problem was 11 – within our audience’s target age range (8-12). He faced a very relatable problem for children – his brother had asthma and had to go to hospital for treatment for breathing difficulties when there was heavy smog in Delhi. His solution – collecting recyclable waste on a sustainable economic basis to reduce garbage burning - was simple and easy to understand for our age group, helping them see how even people as young as them can contribute to fixing the world’s problems, rather than sit around feeling miserable.

Don't miss the opportunity to download our latest solutions journalism guide: "11 tough questions on how to do solutions journalism". 

His solution is also, clearly, not going to fix the entire problem of Delhi’s smog. But that doesn’t matter. As Nav explains, it’s about all of us doing what we can – the spirit of the hummingbird fighting the forest fire. This was one of the later stories we covered and so benefitted from our experience of working on stories remotely with local freelancers. In this case, it was the second time that we’d worked with this camera operator in India and she excelled herself in providing an interview with movement and actuality combined that really told the story in pictures for a generation more comfortable with video than reading. Nav was a great sport, very articulate as a teenager, coming over as a fun big brother for our target audience aged around 10. We felt the light tone of our interactive sequence and the country factsheet worked well for this age group.” Alastair McDonald, WOW! News

The Star Ingredient - Euronews (France)

In The Star Ingredient, a documentary podcast series, Euronews takes us on a culinary journey across Africa to meet communities and local chefs on a mission to revive the continent’s indigenous crops - all while sharing delicious new recipes and flavours.

The episode on cooking with bambara groundnut is the one the team is most proud of. 

“In the second episode of our series, we took our listeners to Nigeria to learn about Bambara groundnut, an underutilised, nutritional powerhouse that has found two champions in Chef Moyo Odunfa and entrepreneur, Nkechi Idinmachi. There are several reasons why we’re particularly proud of this episode. Firstly, Nigeria is an ideal place to bring the listener considering its rich and proud culinary heritage. And in Chef Moyo Odunfa, the young, classically trained chef featured in this episode, we think Nigerian food has an ideal ambassador, whose passion for indigenous ingredients is plain to see.

Euronews Credit Samuel Okocha
Credit Samuel Okocha

One of our goals for this project was not just to tell a dry story of relegated crops, but to give our listeners a real narrative and compelling protagonists with a personal connection to these foods. In that sense, we were lucky to find Nkechi Idinmachi, an entrepreneur who launched a business selling all things Bambara after coming upon it as a solution to feeding her first child who was born with a host of allergies to common foodstuffs. In this episode, her story gave us the bandwidth to dig into the details about bambara groundnut and why it could be a solution to food insecurity, without sacrificing the imperative to, above all, tell a good story.” Aisling Ni Chulain, Euronews

Make sure to listen to all episodes of the Star Ingredient.


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