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The Solutions Set: six must-read stories from the last month

Welcome back to Solutions Set, where each month we select some of the most compelling solutions journalism from across the web. Solutions journalism offers rigorous coverage of solutions to huge…

The Solutions Set: six must-read stories from the last month

Here at Solutions Set, we search out exceptional “solutions journalism”: rigorously reported stories describing what works, what’s being tried, and what failed regarding tough social issues. Community development, poverty, education,…

The Solutions Set: six must-read stories from the last month

Start the month with six solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Every day we learn more about who’s solving what and how they’re doing it. Sometimes these stories…

How To Cover Social Innovation, Part II: Ask Different Questions

This article is the latest in a series that dissects news stories to make the case for high-quality “solution journalism.” In business, you reach success when you start asking the…

How To Cover Social Innovation: Start Small, Build Big

This article is the latest in a series that dissects news stories to make the case for high-quality “solution journalism.” Last Wednesday, our founder David Bornstein gave a talk about…

Social Innovation Roundup: Tackling Diabetes With A Different Slant

The mainstream media tends to place a disproportionate amount of its attention on problems. This is not just something we’ve noticed at Dowser. The public has noticed, too: In 1997,…

Defining Solution Journalism, Part II: The anatomy of a powerful idea

Ten (sustainable) stars to Gardiner Harris and The New York Times for their recent Solution Journalism piece on changing admission requirements for medical schools. This article made both the “Most-Emailed” and “Top-Shared on Facebook” lists, which have become indicators of success for online journalism…and defies assertions that “good news” leads to decreased readership.

Defining Solution Journalism: It’s about real news, not feel-good stories

Everybody loves a feel-good story. That’s why media outlets have a special section for them – like the section of the zoo where you can pet the gentle animals. But there’s rarely any little critical thinking about whether the story really represents an effective or systematic way to address a problem. And too often it devolves into unadulterated hagiography — which destroys the legitimacy and credibility that we’d like solution journalism to have.

Holding the Ocean in Your Hand: How Knight News Challenge Winners Are Making Sense of a Changing World

This article is part of a series that dissects news stories to make the case for high-quality “solution journalism.” In his 2007 book Blessed Unrest, journalist/ social entrepreneur/ environmentalist Paul Hawken estimates that…

Looking Beyond Investigative Journalism (a Case for Solution Journalism)

Earlier this week, the New York Times published a powerful work of investigative reporting by Danny Hakim, which exposed terrible abuse and negligence in New York State’s institutions for the developmentally disabled. The story, which focused on the death of a 13-year-old autistic boy at the hands of a caretaker of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center (O.D. Heck) would fill any reader with outrage.

Hakim’s reporting is superb and detailed. Go read it. I hope he and his colleagues win awards for this and other stories on the issue.

But while the piece did a great job of exposing the problem, it said little about how we could fix it. This is an area where journalism often fails. And we want to know — how could we improve it?