Solutions journalism, definition and elements of its success in solving social problems

Rozana Centre for Media Development (RAM) organized training on solutions journalism and its importance, in which eight reporters working with the Rozana Foundation in several areas within Syria participated.

Regarding the training, the journalist and trainer at (RAM) Mohsen Ibrahim said: “The importance of solutions journalism comes from the fact that it sheds light on solutions to social problems and presents them in a smooth way to the public to benefit from.”

He added that “the training presented the basic pillars and elements that make the journalistic story valid, especially in the contents of solutions journalism.”

The difference point between the story in solutions journalism and others is that solution journalism presents a solution or a way to deal with the problem instead of only describing the problem or the phenomenon.

Solutions journalism includes in-depth reports on responses to social problems according to several elements including response, determinants, and evidence.

The training discussed key points in solutions journalism such as:

  • The description of the problem or phenomenon only.
  • The research on how to overcome a social problem.
  • Monitoring the success or failure to overcome the problem
  • Documenting the steps of applying that success or failure.
  • Taking an approach based on investigation and accuracy.

Types of stories in solutions journalism include:

  • Stories about people or organizations doing unusual, uncommon, but positive acts that can bring a solution.
  • New ideas such as stories that explore a new idea or project.
  • Experiments under development, which means stories that follow a program under implementation, and here the final outputs and results may be not completed yet.

The training also discussed the pillars of solutions journalism which are represented by the following:

  • An accurate presentation of a response or a solution with detailing and clarifying the problem.
  • Providing evidence of the success or failure of this solution.
  • Detailing the limitations of this solution.
  • Presentation of lessons learned and the possibilities of re-application.

Through its professional trainers, the Rozana Centre for Media Development (RAM) provides training services to establishments and individuals alike, for journalists and establishments in Syria or in North Africa, Yemen, Libya and Iraq in cooperation with leading Arab and international organizations that support free media in the Arab world