Solutions Journalism — It May be the Answer, By Justine Sutton
On Wednesday, October 7, about 40 AWC-SB members and guests assembled via Zoom for a fascinating and comprehensive presentation, Solutions Journalism: Breaking the Fear-Based News Cycle, with Giana Magnoli of Noozhawk and Michelle Faust Raghavan of Solutions Journalism Network. Even up against the Vice Presidential debate on TV, it was wonderful to see the impressive turnout for this monthly gathering.
Solutions Journalism is rigorous, evidence-based reporting on responses to social problems.
Hallmarks of Solutions Journalism:
~Features not just a person, but a response to a problem and how it happened
~Provides evidence of results, looking at effectiveness—not just intentions
~Discusses limitations and avoids reading like a puff piece
~Seeks to provide insights others can learn from—not just inspiration
The Benefits of Solutions Journalism
Without examples of effective responses, anxiety-inducing reports create defensiveness instead of changing behaviors. Helplessness leads to a desire to tune out. However, when people think something can be done about a problem, they are more receptive. Though no solution is perfect, efforts making progress are worth telling people about.
“Journalism must cover the problems but that’s only part of the story,” said Carolyn Jabs, AWC-SB’s Membership Chair. “We also need to hear about the innovative things people are doing to solve problems.”
We also learned about Mis-Dis-Mal-Information:
~Disinformation: Intentionally creating false or misleading information for financial or political gain, and to cause harm.
~Misinformation: Sharing disinformation with good intentions, not realizing it’s false or misleading
~Malinformation: Sharing genuine information with an intent to cause harm
AWC-SB President Lisa Osborn said, “Supporting real journalism is so important right now. True journalists are our defense against misinformation and disinformation campaigns.”
Our most sincere appreciation to Giana Magnoli and Michelle Faust Raghavan for their engaging and informative presentation.
Giana said, “We can’t write about solutions if we don’t know about them, so let us know what’s going on!” You can email Giana Magnoli with Noozhawk here (click link).
Thanks to AWC-SB Board members Sharon Cox (Programming), Monica Kunz (Marketing), and Erica Schweitzer (Website/video), as well as members Bonnie Carroll, Amy Marie Orozco, and Justine Sutton who contributed time and expertise. And of course our eternal gratitude to our media sponsor, Santa Barbara Independent.
Justine Sutton graduated from UCSB and has adopted Santa Barbara as her hometown. She’s a freelance writer, certified in Weddings and Funerals as a Life-Cycle Celebrant® and is currently training as a voice actor.