Comparing News and Solutions Reporting

I chose to compare a June 25, 2016 news story on with a Dec. 7, 2016 solutions story in Mother Jones. Both stories address different medications that can be used to treat addiction, but the Mother Jones article using solutions to drive the story. The article, What addiction science says about getting – and staying – off opioids, uses a little bit of data, but no characters to drive the story and the reporter only allocates a small portion of the story, entitled “What kind of support works?” to evidence that medications help. Instead, the reporter chose to spend a large section of the article listing and explaining different types of medications that may help. The news story may list potential solutions (i.e. medication), but there is very little evidence and the solutions do not drive the story.

The Mother Jones story, This drug can break opioid addiction. Why aren’t we using it?, is driven by a single clinic in San Francisco. The article uses characters to effectively tell the story without turning them into either heroes or victims. The solutions story also uses much more data and evidence to explain why this San Francisco clinic is doing something that works, rather than simply stating it as fact or listing medications that could possibly work like the article did. The evidence, data and personal stories make the Mother Jones solutions story a much more effective story.

About the author

Erin Moran

Erin Moran is a junior journalism major and political science minor at Temple University. She currently works as a Deputy Features Editor of her college newspaper, The Temple News, and a regular freelancer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chestnut Hill Local. Contact Erin at

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By Erin Moran