“Solutions” Journalism Gets A New Education Guide & Webinar

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The Solutions Journalism folks, in partnership with the Hechinger Report, have put out a new guide focusing on education coverage (and are also conducting a webinar today at 1:00 Eastern). 

Solutions-oriented journalism is everywhere these days, or at least it’s more places than it used to be. Once officially limited to an occasional NYT column (called Fixes), it’s now a big part of coverage at the Seattle Times, the Boston Globe, BRIGHT (on Medium), and now Hechinger.

There’s also rumor of more newsrooms adopting this approach on the way, but no one’s naming names (yet). In many but not all of these places, the funding has come from the Gates Foundation.

The new guide from the Hechinger Report includes some interesting advice from working journalists (including some awesome sarcasm from Peg Tyre):

John Higgins, The Seattle Times: “We haven’t conveyed the magnitude of the challenge now before us: to change the brains of most of the world’s children so they can take part in the great human inventions of literacy and numeracy and all the learning and culture that springs from those inventions.”

Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report: “Sometimes, the complexity of human experience and effort falls out of the equation. We create good guys and bad guys in a way that oversimplifies and doesn’t help to find a solution.”

Peg Tyre, journalist and author: “We write a lot about school organization and management but hardly at all about what actually happens in the classroom. And when we do write about classroom practice or curriculum it is usually some warm and fuzzy program. Emergent readers reading to dogs! Students use rap music to learn Shakespeare!”

There are also some real-life examples from the Seattle Times and BRIGHT. 

Related posts:Is Education Journalism Over-Focused On Reform Battles?The Promise and Peril of “Solutions” JournalismBoston Globe Launches Expanded Education EffortWhat If Education Journalism Has Gotten The Narrative.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.