How To Incorporate Solutions Into Our Addiction Reporting

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.

About the author

Danielle Nick

Danielle Nick is a senior journalism student at Temple University. She believes traditional hard news is valuable, but incomplete. Solutions journalism, on the other hand, offers a new, exciting, and improved way to tell a story. Contact Danielle at danielle.nick@temple.edu.

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By Danielle Nick