'Solutions journalism' goes beyond basic news, profs write

Blackboard with words 'solution' and 'problem'

News articles often highlight a problematic trend in society, but they haven’t often provided a way to fix it.

That’s what solutions journalism tries to do. In an op-ed piece in The Register-Guard, UO School of Journalism and Communication professors Nicole Dahmen, Brent Walth and Kathryn Thier examine this growing trend and the effect it might have on the world of journalism.

“While most news stories stop after describing a controversy,” they write, “solutions journalism gives readers a more complete picture by looking at how other places have responded and adapted to similar challenges. This type of reporting focuses on both what is working and what is not working, asking questions about why and how.”

Furthermore, readers respond well to this type of journalism, they say. Research shows that offering a solution often creates greater interest and a feeling of optimism.

For the full article, see “’Solutions journalism’ can make a difference.”

The School of Journalism and Communication was one of the first schools in the country to offer a class on solutions journalism, which was introduced in winter 2016 and instructed by Thier. OR Magazine, a student-ran iPad publication, produced a “Solutions Issue” that spring.