What is the goal of our digital information environment? Is it simply to inform us, or also to empower us to act?
At the Solutions Journalism Network, the team understands that simply reporting on social problems rarely leads to change. What they’ve discovered is that rigorously reporting on responses to social problems — can more often give activists and concerned citizens the hope and information they need to take effective action. For this reason, SJN trains and encourage journalists to report on “solutions angles,” and more broadly 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.
In this episode, Tina Rosenberg, co-founder of SJN, and Hélène Biandudi Hofer, former manager of SJN’s Complicating the Narratives initiative, walk us through the origin of solutions journalism, how to practice it, and what impact it has had. Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin reflect on how, much like solutions journalism, humane technology should also be designed to create an empowering relationship with reality — enabling us to shift us from learned helplessness to what we might call learned hopefulness.
Tina Rosenberg is co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network. She is a longtime New York Times writer, for the editorial page, Sunday magazine, and most recently as co-writer of the solutions-focused Fixes column. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for her newspaper and magazine journalism, and a Pulitzer winner for her book The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism, which also won the National Book Award.
Hélène Biandudi is an award-winning journalist and producer who creates original, solutions-oriented content for television, film, and online platforms. Since we recorded our interview together, she has wrapped up her role as the manager of the Complicating the Narratives initiative at the Solutions Journalism Network, which focuses on controversial and polarizing issues.
The Solutions Journalism Network’s database of more than 12,000 solutions stories from around the world.
Co-written by SJN co-founder Tina Rosenberg, the Fixes column covers solutions to social problems.
An opinion column covering solutions, and a participant in the Solutions Journalism Network.
Tina Rosenberg’s 2001 story in the New York Times Magazine, which sparked the inspiration for the Solutions Journalism Network.