COVID-19 and Solutions Journalism

At a time when we may all be overwhelmed by the constant coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, Transitions is putting even more effort into solutions-oriented journalism. We believe that, more than ever, we need solid reporting on promising responses to the crisis. Transitions Director and Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Druker set out our reasons for this step.

There are so many great things going on that can inspire others and spark help efforts. That is why we want to bring you information that will help you in your work in accordance with the basic principles of Solutions Journalism.

Webinar to watch:

The spread of COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty across the world. Many people want to know what they can do to ensure they and their communities are safe. Solid reporting on what’s working, from rapid testing to quarantine strategies, helps provide crucial information to individuals and policymakers. If you’re a journalist looking for an introduction to solutions reporting or a refresher on the four pillars of solutions journalism this webinar is for you. We especially highlighted stories from Europe, covering responses to the pandemic. The course itself lasted for an hour, and was followed by a Q/A 30min session with our guest speaker, Mark Rice-Oxley, head of special projects at the Guardian and editor of Guardian’s SJ column, The Upside.

A few quick tips
 How do I know that this is a good solution-oriented journalism?

Here are 4 criteria:

  1. Focuses in depth on an existing response and how it works in meaningful detail (it does not cover a “should-be-done” theory)
  2. Presents available evidence of impact (focuses on effectiveness, not just good intentions)
  3. Provides a replicable model that can be beneficial to others in a similar situation
  4. Discusses limitations/gaps of the approach (no solution is perfect)

At Transitions, we are currently preparing a microgrant challenge for Central and Eastern Europe to support solutions-based reporting of the crisis. We all need good information on questions like “What’s working to combat the social isolation that accompanies quarantine measures?”, “What’s working to promote the mental and physical health of frontline workers?” or  “What’s working to counter racism against foreigners (especially Italians or Asians)?”

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