Over nine months, the Solutions Journalism Network, in partnership with Hearken and Trusting News, guided 22 newsrooms from across the United States as they worked to transform their news coverage of democracy. These newsrooms made the commitment to learn, practice and evaluate their work in the midst of one of modern history’s most fraught election cycles. Doing so enabled them to center the communities they serve instead of the politicians who were relentlessly vying for their media spotlight during this period. More specifically, the fellowship equipped these newsrooms to move beyond the rote “who’s winning?” narrative and to invest in community-oriented, solutions-focused reporting on effective ways (large and small) to secure and advance a healthy democracy.


Screenshot of Prism article

Raising revenue

Solutions coverage of democracy helped Prism, an independent nonprofit newsroom led by journalists of color reporting to inform movements for justice, raise $100,000 for additional politics and democracy reporting. Shirley Vilca, Prism’s development director, said the newsroom’s solutions journalism helped attract a major donor who was drawn to this editorial approach. Prism also highlights its solutions work in its impact report, which staff members use in fundraising efforts.

Foster care shuffle story graphic

Shining light on what's working

Street Roots, a weekly social justice newspaper in Portland, Oregon, was honored in the Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest for “Foster Care Shuffle,” a five-part series that examined places that are making progress in providing more stable placements for young people in foster care.

Screenshot of the Arizona Daily Star solutions homepage

Informed reporting

The Arizona Daily Star was awarded the Arizona Newspapers Association’s community service/journalistic achievement award for its ongoing project “Serving Tucson With Solutions Coverage.” The beat, which was led by Caitlin Schmidt in 2022, is dedicated to solutions reporting and has focused on engaging the community by gathering input on topics of coverage. Schmidt said, “Solutions reporting aims to shine a light on people trying to make our community a better place, and that’s something we could all use a little more of right about now.”

Screenshot of the Solutions Reporting Checklist

Democracy Reporting Checklist

The Solutions Reporting Checklist provides a illustrated reference giving reporters and editors everything they need to create powerful, solutions-oriented reporting about threats to democracy.

On Nov. 14, 2022, Jaisal Noor spoke to the National Press Foundation about the importance of incorporation solutions reporting into the democracy beat. NPF wrote up the presentation here:

On Nov. 14, 2022, SJN democracy cohort manager Jaisal Noor spoke to the National Press Foundation about the importance of incorporating solutions reporting into the democracy beat.