I would say the main thing I learned after Jean Friedman-Rudovsky’s presentation was what solutions journalism is not. Jean referred to these commonly mistaken stories as ‘Sojo Imposters.’ I would say that some of these narratives that were presented as what solutions journalism isn’t, I initially thought qualified as solutions journalism. ‘Hero worship’ and ‘instant activist’ are the two topics in particular that I admit that I sometimes confused with solutions journalism. These two aren’t considered that though because solutions journalism focuses on actual problem solving methods rather than an individual. These methods also have to have some longevity or evidence that proves whether they have or haven’t been effective, which is why an ‘instant activist’ piece wouldn’t necessarily be considered solutions journalism.
Another important thing I learned from Jean is that when finding a subject to report on in the context of solutions journalism, it is better off choosing an issue that the public already identifies as a problem. Choosing a topic that doesn’t have that much attention or knowledge from the general public would be hard to cover as a solutions journalism subject because you would have to spend so much time explaining why it is an issue in the first place. Jean mentioned that when people think something can be done to a problem, people are more receptive and attentive to a problem. That is why it is vital to select subjects that people already have a concern about.