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Should Science Journalists Seek Solutions?

What exactly is solutions journalism? Is it a worthwhile endeavor? And how can we pursue this form of storytelling? These are just a handful of questions a panel answered for audience members during a 3 July WCSJ2019 session.

As a starting point, Nina Fasciaux defined solutions journalism as “rigorous, evidence-based reporting on responses to social problems.” Rather than simply pointing out problems, it takes the added step of offering possible solutions. And in doing so, pointed out the freelance writer and trainer at the New York City-based Solutions Journalism Network, there is potential to strengthen accountability, boost reader engagement, and give readers the full story.

There’s no one way to use solutions journalism and there is no formula, added Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Elizabeth McGowan. It can adapt to a variety of topics and forms of writing, such as short news stories, explanatory pieces, or long-form narratives. McGowan remarked that she has found this form of journalism to be both “liberating and refreshing” because it enables her to offer readers thoughtful, carefully reported stories while also including signs of hope and “concrete examples of replicable work in real communities.”

Opinions expressed in the blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of WCSJ2019

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