Amplifying the Impact of Solutions Journalism Stories on Climate and Sustainability

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Speaker: Katherine Noble-Goodman

Moderator: Fara Warner


Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 15:30-16:05 CET


Written by Tom Dautzenberg


Keywords: Solutions Journalism, Sustainability, Education, Climate Solutions


The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) aims to train journalists to conduct ‘Solutions Journalism reporting while also working on amplifying the impact of these stories. During this session, Katherine Noble-Goodman explained how SJN aims to keep Solutions Journalism stories in circulation and how such stories can be used by nonprofit leaders in connecting their constituents with responses to tough social and environmental challenges.


Noble-Goodman discussed different approaches used by SJN in order to keep Solutions Journalism stories in circulation and to reach a larger audience:


- Solutions Journalism should deliver constructive hope to the reader as this motivates people to action.


- Solutions Journalism stories are gathered in the ‘Solutions Story Tracker’ which is a curated database of reporting on responses to social problems.


- By amplifying the importance of Solutions Journalism, SJN motivates journalists to do more solutions reporting.


- Through collaborations with NGOs, resources created through Solutions Journalism are made available to a wider audience.


- By reaching out to educators, a large number of students are exposed to Solutions Journalism stories.


By reaching out to educators and collaborating with NGOs, larger audiences are reached. For example, 4.000 participants of a project hosted by partner-NGO ‘Ecochallenge’ were exposed to Solutions Journalism stories through this project.


A risk for the approach adopted by SJN is receiving pushback for doing ‘climate activism’. However, Noble-Goodman explained that also within the scope of their partnerships with NGOs, the main focus remains to communicate information to the audience. Therefore, the right balance is maintained.


Takeaways

1. Constructive hope is a social phenomenon that can motivate people to act, and Solutions Journalism stories can bring this to society;

2. Research tells us that Solutions Journalism stories have a higher chance of having a positive impact on the society;

3. By helping journalists amplify the impact of their work, SJN aims to motivate more journalists to write Solutions Journalism stories.