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Above the fold | Digest

Weekly dispatches from SJN.


|| March 24, 2020

Hey all, 

Hope you're taking care and slowly adapting to however your life may have changed in the last month. We've been full steam ahead as we brainstorm ways that we can help journalists cover this crisis. As always, we're particularly interested in how solutions journalism can fill knowledge gaps and rapidly spread information about what seems to be working in communities around the world. Some big things this week (more details below): 
  1. We’re launching something called The SoJo Exchange where news organizations can find (or offer) free solutions stories on COVID-19.
  2. We compiled 24 questions that can help you find COVID-19 solutions stories. 
  3. We're hosting a webinar this Thursday: Solutions Journalism 101: Covering the Coronavirus Crisis.
  4. We're hosting a second webinar this Friday: Advancing SJ Coverage Amid Coronavirus Outbreak (building on the first). 
And here are some other resources to utilize in your reporting:  Perhaps most importantly, if you come across solutions journalism stories on the coronavirus and its effects (health care, social distancing, distance learning, etc.), please submit them here. There could not be a more important time to know about what's working to combat the virus and adapt to its effects.

If you, like me and so many others, are tending toward escapism amid this chaos, might I recommend this video of a professional sports announcer narrating dogs chasing each other that I have watched at least seven times since yesterday. Take care this week, friends.

Samantha McCann
Vice President, Practice Change


Introducing the COVID-19 SoJo Exchange

Looking for solutions coverage of COVID-19 -- or have stories you’d be willing to offer other news outlets? Our new COVID-19 SoJo Exchange aims to make your life easier. Participants in the Exchange can use (or offer) stories for free under a Creative Commons license -- and we already have 13 stories you can use right now.

It works like this: If you want to offer solutions stories that might be of interest in other markets and that others can use without contacting you (because no one has time for that right now), please do. If you can share a photo or two, that’s great. Text, audio and video stories are all welcome. And if you have other rules for republication, tell us and we’ll include those as well.

If you want to republish one of the stories in the Exchange, wonderful! You may make cuts or do minor updates or localization, but no other changes. You must credit the reporter and publication. And follow the publication’s other rules, if any. For more information on the Exchange visit this page.


24 Questions to Frame Your Solutions Reporting on COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is already one of the most written-about events in the modern era. Much of that reporting has by necessity focused on the problem, in all of its complexity. Now opportunities are emerging to report on responses — the people and institutions across the U.S. and around the world working to rapidly find effective solutions. Of course a pandemic can’t be “solved” in one fell swoop, and in figuring out how to approach a response story, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many needs. The best of these stories zero in on specific issues, small slices of the battle against COVID-19. Here are 24 questions journalists can ask to get started in finding essential solutions stories (along with two calls for pitches from Next City and Yes! Magazine). A few sample questions (with the rest in the link):
  1. What's working to rapidly create hospital beds and increase capacity?
  2. What's working to rapidly create hand sanitizer?
  3. What's working to provide health and safety resources for people experiencing homelessness? 
  4. What's working to feed children dependent on school lunches? 
  5. What's working to combat the social isolation that accompanies social distancing? 
  6. What's working to help quarantined people vote from home? 
Et nous pensons que cette ressource est si importante, que nous l'avons traduite en français
This is a newsletter for people interested in improving journalism. It features two things we think you should know each week relating to solutions journalism. Our aim? For it to be thought-provoking and laugh-inducing. Typically sent on Tuesdays. Sometimes other days. If someone forwarded you this email, you can sign up here.

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