Good v. Bad Solutions Journalism

Good Example:

Kids in Prison by Sarah Gonzalez. This is actually an audio package news series. There are multiple parts to this story. However, the gist is that black teenagers are tried as adults at a larger rate than their white counterparts. The first part of this story begins with a lot of data-heavy information about the disparity. The story then goes on to explain the hostile relationship between people of color and law enforcement. It turns into a solutions story when it compares the American judicial system to Germany’s. Germany focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment which is why people generally have a better relationship with law enforcement. In addition, their incarceration rate and their prison re-entry rate is also substantially lower than the United States. Gonzalez puts forth a problem and explains how it can potentially be fixed. She remains objective by not making this an advocacy piece. Her entire argument is data-based. Although she follows a specific person’s story, Jamal, he is not the main subject of the story. He lends an anecdotal aspect helping the story unfold but he is not painted as a ‘hero’ or the main focus of the story.

Bad Example: 

The ridiculous “Are You Addicted to Dating?” by Korin Miller is not a solutions journalism story. It’s a stretch to call it journalism. Miller makes the assertion that it is possible to be addicted to dating with an emphasis on dating apps. She then attempts to provide a solution stating that a person should try to get to know a few people who they are currently talking with before they resume to continue swiping. The main issue with this article is the misuse of the word addiction. Addiction is something all that is all-consuming and a serious mental disease. Online dating is not a mental disease. There may be underlying issues such as anxiety which make people compelled to pursue online dating excessively, but the dating itself is not an addiction. In addition, the ‘solution’ is not backed up by any date. It’s pretty clear that it was simply Miller’s opinion.

About the author

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen is a sophomore Journalism major with a Political Science minor at Temple University. She also does the Morning Updates for WHIP, Temple’s student radio station. She is the creator of WHIP’s The District where she and a co-host discuss Philadelphia and Pennsylvania state politics every Tuesday and Thursday night; 7-8 pm. She previously interned for Solomon Jones at 900amWURD for the “Wake Up With WURD” show where she learned about radio production and promotion through social media. She is a member of Temple’s Association of Black Journalists. She has volunteered with Update Now during her first year. She is the executive producer of TUTV’s Temple Talk, Temple’s only entertainment day show. Contact Taylor at tuf89707@temple.edu.

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By Taylor Allen