Solutions Journalism: Why we should Support the Bright Side of News Report

There seems to be no end in a sight to waking up to listen to or read about bad news on several national and international news channels and online tabloids, sometimes make you wonder if there are no good stories to shape the headlines or our journalists just prefer to feast on the next available bad story like a famished lion will do on a gazelle. 
 
Needless to mention the surge of Yellow-Journalism practice, and the increase in the numbers of quacks in the field of journalism among others which has made it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff and by extension created a negative ripple effect in the manner and approach news report are presented such that it profits the audience even in bad situations.
 
For the least, quite a number of people will agree that talking about societal problems all the time doesn`t solve them but rather exposes the country`s failure to combat societal issues like war crimes, terrorism, corruption, unemployment, bad governance and other societal vices – most of which are the stories that plague our news channels today like a pandemic, especially in Nigeria.

This is why there is a need for the media professionals, and journalists to embrace, and advocate for Solutions Journalism (SOJO) because in as much as they need to identify and publicise the problems arising in the society, finding solutions and recommendations to these solutions will make great news. These solutions will be a catalyst for change and they will showcase for example the steps or procedures other countries take to resolve issues in their countries. 

 
 

It is high time that training institutes and industry regulators obeyed the clarion call in putting things back in the right perspective, particularly for the benefit of the masses. The negative spiral of bad news can take a toll on mental health. Studies have linked the incessant consumption of bad news to increased distress, anxiety and depression even when the news in question is relatively mundane.
 
In an attempt to create more awareness about the SOJO movement, the College of Management and Social Sciences, Fountain University Osogbo in her May edition of the college seminar series looked at the title: “Bad News is Good News, Good News is No News: Mainstreaming Solutions Journalism as a Moderating Factor in a Profit-Driven Economy”. The seminar which was delivered by Dr. Rasheed Ademola Adebiyi from the Department of Mass Communication was a reflection on Dr. Adebiyi’s effort on advocating Solutions Journalism through a fellowship he was enrolled with. Below are some of the valuable experiences and lessons he shared.

WHAT IS SOLUTION JOURNALISM?

 Solutions Journalism is a rigorous evidence-based reporting on responses to social problems. It collates data on responses that have worked for other countries’ societal problems and investigate these responses to see those that work and why others didn’t work. It draws lessons from the responses – i.e It gives insight into the responses that worked and how they can be available to others.  It looks for evidence, and reports limitations – It figures out areas that need to be worked on, how the responses worked for other countries, what needs to be done and report other challenges.

THE SOJO FELLOWSHIP AND HOW IT PROMOTES SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM

The SOJO programme aims to advocate for the practice and teaching of Solutions Journalism by newsroom and learning centres and it also assists SDG/ Development stories and provides opportunities to engage issues affecting society. The fellowship is an opportunity for journalists, researchers, and all media professionals to learn how to incorporate Solution Journalism before in their news reports, and write journals about it.

Click on the link below to read the full interview of Dr. Adebiyi on Solution Journalism: https://www.tekedia.com/nigeria-needs-journalism-practice-that-gives-agency-to-people-to-solve-problems/


At this point, this author would love to drop her pen. However, we’d love to hear your side of the story. Taking a cue from the discussion, have you ever wondered if our journalist doesn’t have any good story to shape their headlines or maybe bad news is only the good news that should make the headlines. We’d love to read from you in the comment section.

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