"Does journalism focus too much on problems -- and not enough on responses to problems? Do you think this situation needs to be changed? Whether you do or not, we'd love to hear your thoughts."
That's the opener from the Solutions Journalism Network, which is surveying reporters about what they would like to see in a new program that hopes to raise $250,000 this fall (yes, that many zeroes) to distribute to journalists to encourage reporting not on problems, but on solutions. The co-founders are David Bornstein, who writes for The New York Times; the New York writer Courtney Martin; and Tina Rosenberg, an author and journalist who also writes for the Times.
Martin and I are in a writers' group together, and she sent me an email with more about the program:
Around the world, organizations with creative ideas and models are achieving impact against many problems, demonstrating new policy opportunities and new possibilities for social transformation...On top of this, today, there are far more credible stories about social innovation than in the past.
All this activity is producing some exciting new opportunities for society. And it offers a gold mine of stories for journalists who are interested in ideas...the press needs to do a much better job circulating information that helps communities improve and helps individuals take action as powerful citizens. Our goal is to lend a push so this grows into a full blown culture shift in journalism.
It seems to me to be a smart program, set up by smart people. Wish them luck--and apply for a grant.