Advancing Democracy

The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) is leading a systems-level change in journalism so that all people – no matter how or where they get their news – have access to rigorous reporting not only about problems, but about promising and evidence-based responses to them as well. This is especially critical for coverage of the shifting norms and practices within our democratic systems, which have seen an onslaught of unprecedented challenges in recent years. The news media plays a pivotal role in making this information widely available.

Starting in 2022, SJN partnered with Hearken and Trusting News to  support 20 newsrooms through a nine-month Advancing Democracy fellowship (formerly known as Democracy SOS), designed to help participants think big, plan long-term, and reinvent politics and elections coverage with and for their communities. This program is designed to help newsrooms transform their coverage:

FROM candidate/horse-race focused coverage TO constituent-focused coverage;FROM journalists deciding what information the public gets TO journalists listening to the public to cover the information they're missing;FROM problem-focused reporting TO solutions-focused reporting;FROM assuming the public knows how journalism is made TO explaining how journalism is made;
FROM conflict-oriented reporting that contributes to polarization TO "good conflict"-oriented reporting that builds understanding;
FROM undercovering/miscovering communities TO inclusive, equitable coverage of communities;
FROM coverage of democracy that revolves around one day (Election Day) TO year-round coverage of democracy (with elections being one important event).

Read more about the newsrooms participating in the fellowship here.

COMING SOON: updates on the progress made by participating newsrooms! In the meantime, explore more resources on our Democracy Solutions page, visit the Solutions Story Tracker, or sign up for biweekly democracy solutions delivered straight to your inbox via Solutions Worth Sharing, or curate your own solutions journalism for your inbox by signing up for Custom Story Alerts!

Looking to cover democracy with a solutions lens? Check out our illustrated solutions reporting checklist.

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