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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.