Solutions journalism can help to deepen news coverage and engage audiences, but many journalists haven’t yet learned how to integrate it into their reporting.
That’s why the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has partnered with the Solutions Journalism Network, thanks to support from the Knight Foundation, to offer a new free online course that will teach the concept and practice of solutions journalism.
“Solutions journalism: New ways of elevating your reporting and engaging audiences” runs from May 8 to June 4, 2023. Find more information, including a syllabus and registration instructions, at journalismcourses.org.
Hugo Balta, publisher of Illinois Latino News and an accredited solutions journalism trainer, will teach this four-week massive open online course (MOOC).
“Solutions journalism is a global shift in journalism, focused on what news often misses: how people try to solve problems and what we can learn from their successes and failures,” Balta said. “By covering solutions to local and global challenges, journalists can equip people in all communities with the knowledge to envision and build a more equitable and sustainable world.”
The course is broken into four modules:
- Module 1 covers what solutions journalism is, and what it is not, including an overview of the four pillars of solutions journalism.
- Module 2 reviews identifying, vetting and reporting solutions stories, including how to cover solutions journalism across different beats.
- Module 3 teaches how to organize and tell solutions stories, including choosing a narrative
- Module 4 looks at building solutions journalism into your workflow, including proposing stories in your newsroom.
Balta is a news veteran of more than 30 years and has led newsrooms in multiple markets and platforms, including The Chicago Reporter, Chicago’s PBS Station (WTTW) and Telemundo New York. He has served twice as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2016. Balta is also an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago.
He will be joined by guest speakers, including Kavita Chandran, journalism trainer and news content advisor from Singapore; Chibuike Alagboso, journalist with Nigeria Health Watch; and Swati Sanyal Tarafdar, a LEDE Fellow and accredited solutions journalism trainer from the SJN.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Solutions Journalism Network on this important course, which will help journalists from around the world learn how to build solutions journalism into their work,” said Mallary Tenore, associate director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. “This course will provide journalists with a framework for understanding solutions journalism, as well as practical tips and tools for telling stories about people who are trying to find solutions to address some of today’s most pressing social problems.”
In the course, Balta will dispel common misconceptions about solutions journalism and will give students insights into how solutions journalism can apply to a variety of beats in a variety of mediums, including print, online, and broadcast. He’ll also talk about the impact of solutions journalism, drawing upon related research. Balta will engage in conversations with students about these topics and more in the course discussion forums, where students can interact with one another and pose questions for the instructor.
Balta will teach the course using these forums, as well videos, presentations, readings and quizzes. Those who successfully complete course requirements are eligible to pay for a certificate of completion. No formal academic credit is associated with the certificate.
Like all Knight Center courses, this MOOC is asynchronous, meaning the activities can be completed on the days and at the times that best suit your schedule. However, there are recommended weekly deadlines so students don’t fall behind. The course will be relevant to journalists who already have solutions journalism experience, as well as those who don’t.
Join the community of journalists adopting a solutions journalism mindset in their work and sign up for this free exciting course today!