skip to Main Content

Solutions Journalism: Finding and Sourcing

Finding and Sourcing Overview

Objectives: Students consider how to find and source SoJo stories
Delivery method: Student exploration followed by, facilitated discussion, lecture, possible take-home assignment
Materials: Display facility, flip charts, markers, tape (if needed)
Room setup: Course leader by display, Student work areas
Time: One to one and one-half hours (depends on numbers)

Activity 1: Unpacking SoJo story creation

  1. Instructor explains activity:
    In small groups, students consider a solutions story they have read and analyzed for the four qualities. On flip chart paper on the wall they answer the following questions:-How did the reporter flip the frame? (What is the problem version the reporter could have written/what aspect did the reporter focus on to create a solutions story?)-Is the story a new look at an existing problem, about new data showing positive change/outliers (positive deviance), a solution to a slice of a problem/for a slice of a population, or a combination?-How much of a solution is there? What are the evidence and limitations?
    -Identify the story’s sources by type (academic, government, nonprofit, everyday people)
  2. Instructor facilitates whole-class share out at each station, pointing out and querying students about areas of overlap and variance among the groups.Activity Note: This exercise is richer when each group analyzes a different story so that students can contemplate how story topic affects the creation of solutions journalism. All students should have read all stories in advance.


  3. Instructor follows activity with a “how to” lecture to reinforce students’ exploration. During lecture, intersperse examples from earlier student analysis and discussion to demonstrate connections.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, citizenship status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.