SJN supported an increasing number of journalists and newsrooms around the world in transforming their coverage of climate from unsolvable and apocalyptic to solutions-oriented, evidence-based journalism. In the solutions journalism approach, all stakeholders are held accountable for problems and responses and, importantly, communities see potential pathways forward to take action.

When The River, based in New York's Hudson Valley, went reporting on a schooner shipping freight in the region, they couldn't have predicted the response the story would get. And they tapped into a confluence of strengths — people's passion to better their communities, the connective potential of solutions reporting, and the power of local news to make an impact.

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Getting hot

A solutions story on quality carbon credits is among the most popular articles published to date by Hothouse, a newsletter that investigates climate solutions. The publication credits that story as a big factor in a recent gain of 1,000 new subscribers, helping more than double the audience of the year-old publication. It was syndicated in Popular Science and Scientific American. The mission of Hothouse, which was started as part of an SJN LEDE fellowship, is to produce original investigative journalism on climate solutions.

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Rising up

J.D. Allen, who produces the solutions-focused climate change podcast "Higher Ground," received an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Award for Excellence in Science Communications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Allen produces his show for WSHU, a licensee of Sacred Heart University and an NPR member station that serves Connecticut and Long Island. The award, in the Best Science Reporting on the Local/Regional Level category, was for the first season of the show. Allen is a lecturer at Stony Brook University School of Communication and Journalism (SoCJ) and serves as managing editor at the radio station. The station collaborates with SoCJ, which is a solutions journalism hub. Laura Lindenfeld, SoCJ dean and executive director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, said, "J.D.’s hard work to shed light on Long Island communities’ efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change helps demonstrate the importance of effective science communication and solutions-oriented storytelling in this struggle."

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Putting the "wurd" out

Charles Ellison, host of “ecoWURD'' on WURD Radio in Philadelphia, was awarded an Emerson Collective Fellowship. As an Emerson fellow, Ellison will expand “ecoWURD,” the first initiative from a Black-owned media outlet dedicated to the coverage of environmental and climate issues. In the process, he will elevate the voices of Black people and communities who can play a critical leadership role in climate response, but whose voices seem largely absent from those conversations. Ellison learned to integrate solutions journalism into his reporting as a member of SJN’s 2022 Business & Sustainability Cohort.

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Studying impact

The Climate Solutions collaborative in Pennsylvania received a $10,000 grant from America Amplified, which it will use to create advisory groups to help test whether sustained climate change coverage affects individuals’ daily lives. The collaborative, which is part of the Local Media Project at the Solutions Journalism Network and focuses on central Pennsylvania, is made up of five news organizations, two educational institutions and a theater company.