Four of the nation’s journalism schools have announced that they will become solutions journalism hubs, tasked with building reporting based on responses to difficult problems.
The schools are Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications; Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism; and the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Solutions journalism is focused on responses to social issues, not simply a recitation of the problems. It includes reporting on how a response has worked, or why it hasn’t.
The J schools will seek to educate students on thorough solutions reporting, a move that could restore credibility to the media among some readers.
“These new hub universities are showing a serious commitment to leading this important work in their regions and nationally, as well as collaborating with their peer institutions to undertake this mission,” states Francine Huff, director of journalism school partnerships for the Solutions Journalism Network.
As part of the effort, the hubs will encourage journalism candidates to explore regional problems and solutions.
“This partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network reinforces our commitment to train our students in finding answers to some of the most complex problems in the Southwest and throughout the country and gives us an opportunity to share best practices across the industry,” states Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr.
“By combining classroom instruction and professional training of solutions journalism, we believe we can help make both classrooms and newsrooms better at this important form of rigorous reporting,” states Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “Ultimately, communities in the Midwest will benefit from more journalism that seeks solutions to their most vexing problems.”