Editorial – Seeking solutions

Published: 06-11-2024 11:53 AM

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript has been selected to participate in the Solutions Journalism Network program designed for small, rural news organizations. In this six-month training program, our news team will learn how to incorporate solutions journalism into the coverage we do of our 16 towns. 

The intent of solutions journalism is to look at how people are trying to solve problems and what others can learn from their attempts. It rests on four pillars: the response to a problem, evidence supporting why it worked or didn’t, insights and limitations.

The evidence pillar shows data or qualitative results showing how solutions have worked, or not. Insights seek lessons that make the response relevant to readers and answers the questions: what can we learn from this and can it be applied elsewhere? If not, why not?

Not every solution works, and in identifying limitations, solutions journalism stories point that out.

Last week, we published a story about a community solar array coming to Jaffrey. Reporter Ashley Saari, who wrote the story, might have approached it as fairly routine meeting coverage, highlighting the speaker and what she said about the program. Instead, she identified that it had a solution element – especially for renters or people with shaded roofs who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get solar power – and framed the story to highlight the solution it offered, insights gleaned and the limitations of application. This story was a first effort and a benchmark from which we will measure growth.

As we  practice identifying responses to challenges and using a “what is working” approach whenever possible, we will look to you for ideas and will be asking for feedback on a regular basis. To get our surveys, be sure to sign up to receive our newsletters.

The intent of solutions journalism is to highlight the ways people are addressing issues both large and small. We hope it will deepen our reporting, and provide greater understanding and perspective for you, our readers.

Keep an eye out for our efforts, and share solutions you think we should highlight.

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