1.) Find a story that responds to a social problem. Specifically, find out what is working in terms of long-term recovery.
- “Solutions journalism is rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.”
2. ) In order to find solutions story ideas and incorporate solutions into our addiction reporting, know where to look and what to ask.
- I.E. Where: Peer-reviewed academic papers
- I.E. What: “Who is doing it better?”
3.) Remember when discussing a solution, it is not perfect. Be sure to include the imperfections in your reporting.
- I.E. if you are claiming that a new recovery center is a great resource for addicts, remember to discuss the place’s limitations.
4.) Remember to emphasize how in your reporting.
- This will likely increase reader engagement.
5.) Use your own personal experience when looking for an impactful solutions story.
- “Solutions journalism isn’t just about responses to problems that “those” people face in faraway places, but all of us — including journalists.”
6.) Use the following 8 Steps to create a solutions journalism piece:
- Identify an Issue
- Ask Yourself Key Questions
- Start Hunting
- Select a Story
- Report the Story
- Write / Produce the Story
- Get in Touch with an Editor
- Promote Your Story
7.) Remember to be careful with success stories. You need evidence to back up the supposed success.
8.) Don’t overclaim
- Again, there is never a perfect solution. Don’t claim that something is absolutely amazing and the only solutions. Stick to the facts.
9.) Don’t shy away from data. Use positive deviants.
- I.E. Which hospital in Texas has the lowest infection rate? In which state is recidivism the lowest?
10.) Be careful of hero worship. A response to a social problem requires more than one amazing person. Learn about different people’s stories.
- Tip: Look for an unlikely character.