I had heard of solutions journalism before taking this class, but that was about where it ended. Throughout the semester, I gained a better idea of what it was like to report on something from this manner, and I gained a lot of respect for this style of reporting. I think too often reporters say “here’s the problem” and leave it at that. If we base our daily routine on the foundational journalistic principles of dedicating our craft to the people and to the truth, I really am failing to see how traditional journalism that doesn’t provide any sort of insight into how to solve the problem is a productive way to inform society of the world around them. I think only knowing about the problem can cause us to be ignorant of the true realities and at times harsh undertones of what is going on in the world around us.
Given that addiction and recovery is something that hits home for me personally seeing loved ones impacted by it, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to learn how to better report on this topic. I think that some of the stuff I learned transcends just addiction and recovery and goes over into reporting on sensitive topics in general. Immersing myself directly next to someone going through these struggles made me more aware of what it actually looks like, and I hope my contributions to this class can help someone else see that as well. Some of the conversations I have had this semester with people have truly impacted me and have helped me better understand some things I hadn’t understood before. I think perhaps the most important thing we did this semester was actually listening to people, not just listen to them for the purpose of a story.