The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) is a New York-based organization whose mission is “to spread the practice of solutions journalism: rigorous reporting on responses to social problems”. Using a combination of trainings for journalists, organizing community events, and support of solutions-based projects, SJN “seeks to rebalance the news, so that every day people are exposed to stories that help them understand problems and challenges, and stories that show potential ways to respond”.
Beyond their trainings, though, the core of their work is the Solutions Story Tracker™. This is a database of only stories that are solutions-based. There are already over 6,000 stories in the database (and growing every day) searchable by issue areas, success factor, location, journalist, media type, length, and more. By learning what worked in one area, we can apply that solution/insights elsewhere and thus actually spread social change. This database is an incredible resource for anyone in literally any field anywhere.
I am involved with SJN as a Story Fellow. As a Fellow, I am responsible for vetting stories for high-quality solutions journalism to add to the Solutions Story Tracker. As manager of the Human Rights beat, I analyze stories, track and identify trends, and present my findings in monthly curated collections available on the Tracker. As someone passionate about gender equity, human rights is a perfect topic for me.
The relationship between social change and journalism has long been an interest of mine. Going into college, I genuinely believed that the more articles I read about social change, the stronger a change agent I would be. I’ve since learned about the myriad of information sources, the presence of bias, evolving tech platforms, and the possibility of fake news. This did not waver my resolve to be as well-read as possible, but it did open my eyes to the sheer volume of possibilities and experiences that one could have.
Today, as a social impact designer, I utilize my design-thinking and visual design skills to develop solutions to pressing social issues. Research and learning still hold an integral part in my artistic process with creative writing as my starting point. Constantly delving into and learning from the database, being a part of an amazing organization, and being free to exercise my love for reading articles after articles helps me to grow as a social impact designer. By strengthening my ability to critically analyze, research, and ultimately improve upon a pressing issue, I can be a better social designer and thus a stronger force for good.