How CBS has trained reporters to deliver solutions journalism, with the help of the Solutions Journalism Network. (Image: Associated Press Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)
Solutions journalism, which presents news consumers with constructive responses to problems, has been gaining traction among station groups including Graham, Gray, Nexstar, Hearst, ABC and CBS. Viewers once put off by relentlessly negative reporting are tuning back in for it.
“We kind of knew — but we didn’t.” That wry bit of wisdom from WBBM-TV Chicago News Director Jeff Harris aptly describes one key role that market research can play: applying data to news decisions that were based on experience, aspiration, and sometimes just gut instinct. In this case, Harris is talking about new research on “solutions journalism” — a set of techniques for rigorous reporting on responses to community problems.
KXAN Austin, Texas, leads an ambitious national experiment that draws on broad collaboration and tight coordination to create a compelling experiment in enterprise and beat reporting.