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Solutions Journalism Accelerator grantees: 5 positive change stories


Solutions Journalism Accelerator grantees: 5 positive change stories

Picture of Marjan Tillmans
Marjan Tillmans — Project Manager
December 18, 2023

Contrary to the usual focus of news on what has gone wrong, solutions journalism broadens the perspective by emphasising that what works is also newsworthy.

By incorporating thorough, evidence-based coverage of solutions, journalists can deliver a more comprehensive and balanced narrative.

Check out the Solutions Journalism Accelerator—a programme that provides grant funding, mentoring, coaching, resources, and knowledge transfer to strengthen the practice of solutions-focused development journalism within European news organisations.

As a continuation of the previous article, we present you 5 more impressive stories from our grantees who finalised their one-year projects:

Lessons from Africa: How technology can help in achieving Sustainable Development Goals - RiffReporter (Germany)

Unless countries like Germany rethink their approach, ‘Sustainability’ and the UN Sustainable Development Goals will remain buzzwords gulping billions of Euros without promised impact, African experts say. Yet, Africa has good insights and responses we can learn from. In their project, RiffReporter presents and discusses them with an African-German community.

Riff Reporter
Credit: Roger Jardine

“One of our favourite articles from our project “Lessons from Africa” is “Affordable Internet for all: A village in South Africa jumps the digital divide”, written by Leonie March, and there are several reasons for this: Firstly, it is our most successful article in the project in terms of content syndication. Secondly, it was nominated for the Constructive World Award in the category “Universal empowerment” which also underlines the fact that the text was highly appreciated by other editorial offices. And last but not least, the message of the text makes it one of our centrepieces, because it is about a community that has enabled access to the internet in their small village through their initiative and by founding a cooperative for this purpose. This is a wonderful example of the positive impact it can have when people come together to find solutions to their problems.” 

-Louise Hansel, RiffReporter

Find more stories on their website.

Decolonise how? - New Internationalist (United Kingdom) 

What could it mean to ‘decolonise’ when it comes to addressing global poverty? What are the anti-colonial responses taking place to confront the ongoing impacts of British colonialism and imperialism? New Internationalist explored some of these questions in their series.

Amy Hall, responsible for the series, wants to highlight the story of the Ogiek people in Kenya, who are still waiting for reparations and collective land rights.

New Internationalist
Credit Amy Hall

“As part of the ‘Decolonize How’? series I travelled to Kenya to write about two landmark court rulings which, if implemented, could have a significant impact on Indigenous rights in the region. The Ogiek people, who have lived in the Mau Forest since time immemorial, have been fighting for generations to get their land back. First displaced under British colonialism and then subject to multiple violent evictions post-independence, the community had two wins at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights which should not only protect their rights but also see the return of their land, and other reparations. However, just a few months on from our story, and despite what seemed to be a positive collaboration with the Ogiek, the Kenyan government has again evicted hundreds of people from the forest. Now the pressure is on to stop the evictions and ensure the judgments are implemented.” 

-Amy Hall, New Internationalist

All the stories from the project can be read on their dedicated page

Solving Scotland’s Health Inequality Crisis - A collaboration between The Ferret with Greater Govanhill (United Kingdom)

In their project, Mind the Health Gap, the grantees investigated health inequalities around Scotland and beyond. They examined the way inequality leads to poor health and shorter lives, and their stories focused on responses to the problems they found.

They would like to highlight their story about period poverty. The Ferret wanted to take a look at Scotland's response to period poverty. It passed legislation last year making it the first country in the world to offer free period products to all. But was it working as promised? 

So what was going on? The Greater Govanhill team visited community projects and found that even at those council buildings where products were available to take away for free, the service was often only provided to those in the know. At one venue, period products were in brown bags behind the counter. Organisers thought this was "discreet" but those who spoke to Greater Govanhill said it felt stigmatised. In response to The Ferret's findings, Greater Govanhill did a version of the story that was rooted in community and was relevant to its audience.

The Ferret Greater Govanhill
Illustration by Issey Medd

They also wanted to take the opportunity to look at how stigma impacted solutions and responses to period poverty in the Global South. Working with Middle Eastern solutions journalism collective, Egab, they commissioned a piece from a Nigerian journalist. 

“We were delighted with the way we were able to look at health inequalities from different perspectives - from the local to the national to the global – through our Mind the Health Gap work. This set of pieces on period poverty allowed our readers to get a rounded perspective thinking about solutions here in Govanhill, elsewhere in Scotland and across the world. It inspired great conversations in our teams, at our events with academics, policymakers and third sector organisations and highlighted an issue that matters but is all too often not discussed.” 

-Karin Goodwin, The Ferret

You can find all stories related to the project on The Ferret and Greater Govanhill pages.  

Green Tracks/Pistes vertes - Libération (France)

Libération explored in their series how inventive grassroots communities come up with their answers to environmental problems, in the most heavily tried regions of the world. Whether it’s protection of the forests, flood prevention or air quality, they are leading the way to a more sustainable life for all.

Carol Isoux, responsible for the project, would like to emphasise this story:  In Australia, the Aborigines fight fire with fire

"During the Green Tracks project, we realised how much potential there is in the traditional knowledge of communities around the world to tackle modern problems like climate change, how much of a difference these communities can make, on the condition that they receive the right kind of institutional support. The spiritual practice of traditional burns done by Aboriginal communities in Australia to prevent fires was an example among many, and the story struck a chord at a time when many countries were devastated by fires due to global warming.” 

-Carol Isoux, Libération

Read all stories on Libération’s  Pistes Vertes page.

Credit: Abigail Varney

The Future of Cities - The Bristol Cable (United Kingdom)

Bristol faces the same challenges as other cities: housing insecurity, food and fuel poverty, and unequal access to healthcare, education and transport networks. With more and more people living in cities, solutions for sustainable development need to be found. The Future of Cities series set out problems the city is facing, they uncovered solutions from other cities and amplified grassroots solutions being pioneered closer to home, putting the people working on these solutions at the heart of the stories.

You can read all the stories from The Future of Cities series here.

The Bristol Cable 1
Credit: David Griffiths


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