On Tuesday, Jean Friedman-Rudovsky came to speak with our class. She is the project editor for The Reentry Project, a collaborative initiative among different news outlets to cover problems and solutions related to prisoner reentry. The project will soon shift its focus to cover problems and solutions related to poverty in the city. Friedman-Rudovsky also formerly worked at the Solutions Journalism Network.
In her presentation, she ran through the SJN Toolkit with the class. She explained that the six main aspects of solutions journalism include: problem-centered narratives, detailed solutions implementation, evidence of results, acknowledgement of solutions’ limitations, focus on systemic responses and avoidance of what she called, “puffery” (an example of which is hero worship of a subject).
From Tuesday’s talk, I was personally interested to learn thst SJN is working to get support from leaders of news organizations while simultaneously trying to attract journalists to SOJO practices on the ground. I thought it was also interesting to hear that the SJN founders are debating whether or not it’s necessary to inform readers when a piece is solutions-based. Personally, I would prefer some sort of tagged content. Overall, I’m interested to see how SOJO grows over the next few years and whether or not it becomes a regularly utilized resource in traditional newsrooms.