Photo Courtesy Alex Rydin
On Tuesday, the Diederich College of Communication hosted the Burleigh Media Ethics Lecture featuring New York Times journalist David Bornstein. He is an advocate for what he calls solution journalism, or simply reporting on social innovation rather than on hardship and misery, which seems to be the common practice in today's journalism world.

Bornstein said that journalism is great at exposing and killing the bad parts of our society, but far too often fails to accurately promote the good things that promote positive change in our society. He used the metaphor of keeping a human body healthy to explain the two ways that you can promote change. "You have to inhibit disease," which Bornstein says we are already very good at. "And you have to work to create the conditions that boost health," which is where solution journalism becomes so important.
Bornstein also believes there is no economic excuse for not reporting solutions stories. Good solutions stories have recently gone viral on the internet. Bornstein specifically pointed to an article he wrote about the Nurse Family partnership program, which pairs nurses with low income families to oversee the health of a child. That article was one of the most emailed on the New York Times. This is why Bornstein views solution journalism as a market opportunity, rather than a failure of the journalism market.

I for one believe that solutions journalism prevents an interesting light o view a story that I had not previously encountered. Focusing on the "how" of a story rather than the five W's creates an angle that, as Bornstein correctly pointed out, is not covered by many journalists. This opens up a niche in the market that I would like to fill with my stories.

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