How to use this playbook and what to expect
So, you have made the decision to create a solutions story.. Congratulations! It is no secret that journalism is in trouble, with many audiences fatigued by the negative framing of news. As a result, they are becoming less confident in the media's ability to reflect their lives and communities accurately.
Solutions journalism offers a solution to this problem. Presenting stories that showcase not only problems, but also the responses to those issues, can create a more constructive discussion. And solutions journalism can engage audiences.
Welcome to the
Social Media for
Solutions Journalism Playbook
Social media creates new options to tell solutions stories. If you work in a newsroom, you can publish it on the website. If you're a freelance writer, you can publish it on your blog. But have you ever considered publishing it directly on social media? Over the years, social media has transcended its traditional role to be more than just a distribution tool for journalism. However, many newsrooms and journalists only use it to share their links, missing out on opportunities to engage with their readers and tell their stories in different ways.
This playbook is created to help reporters and newsrooms create solution journalism for social media. However, it's important to clarify that this isn't a guidebook on improving content distribution. This guide focuses on telling stories in a social media environment, using platforms as the main publishing tool rather than just distribution tools.
Through case studies and story examples, this guide provides insights into platforms, tools, lessons learned, and best practices for creating social-first solutions stories.
To begin, it is important to understand why it is increasingly important for journalists to take advantage of the opportunities that social media offers as a platform for journalism.. The guide offers an explanation of how storytelling through social media can enhance the four essential qualities of solutions journalism: response, evidence, insight, and limitations.
The guide also offers direction fortaking a social-first or social-second approach to help journalists and newsrooms decide which would work best for a particular story. Social-first stories are reported and produced to take advantage of social media and distributed first on social channels. Social-second stories are 1) reported and produced first in another medium and then adapted for social channels by the reporter to expand the story’s reach or 2) by a social story-teller who attributes content to the original reporter.
In addition, this guide includes a section on some of the most popular social media platforms and the opportunities and challenges they bring for solutions journalism.
Lastly, the guide includes a set of distribution and engagement best practices that can be adapted for a solutions journalism stories. Social media is an invaluable place to experiment with different formats and tools that can help forge deeper bonds with the audience. Through a range of case studies and story examples, this guide describes platforms, tools, lessons learned, and best practices for creating social-first solutions stories.. This section will help you understand why it is increasingly important for journalists to take advantage of the opportunities social media brings.
To effectively tell our stories on social media, it's crucial to understand the platforms we're using. The second section provides detailed information on the most popular social media platforms, including graphics highlighting the opportunities and challenges they present for solutions journalism. Moreover, this section will help you decide whether your reporting and audience will best benefit from a social-first or social-second story.
Lastly, the guide includes a set of distribution and engagement best practices for solutions journalism stories. While distribution via social media is essential, it is a passive way of connecting with the audience. Social media is an invaluable place to experiment with different formats and tools that can help newsrooms connect more actively with their audiences.
The playbook also includes five examples of how solutions journalism can be told on social media. These examples show how journalists can use social media platforms and their tools to tell stories about solutions to problems, raise awareness, and inspire others to take action.
We see this as a working document and hope that you will talk back. Please give us feedback, by emailing or catching us on our social media. We welcome all advice that helps us improve this resource and make it more useful to the growing network of people practicing solutions journalism.
Really. Ask us anything.