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Can Solutions Journalism fix the news? I asked 5 kids

Student reporter Advaita Mehrotra speaks to 13-17 year olds about Solutions Journalism.

Can Solutions Journalism fix the news? I asked 5 kids

News is consumed by many people globally every day. Due to this, journalists and news agencies can impact the feelings of a reader very quickly. Negative news and fake news are not uncommon in the  current day. The news spread around the world is negative in many cases and can trap the reader in reading only negative information after they see only one headline. However, solutions-oriented journalism covers the topic but also provides solutions or hope in the story. Can this fix the problem of news being negative? I interviewed 5 kids of varied ages to find out their opinion.

Solutions-oriented journalism is a form of journalism that directly counters negative news. Negative news focuses on the problem and states how it can negatively impact someone, but it does not give the solution for it. This can make the reader worried, and they might search about more news articles that are also negative and trap themselves in a loop of reading negative news and then getting worried. Solutions-oriented journalism is different since it shows solutions to the problem and gives hope to the reader instead of worrying them.

The interviewees were asked about whether they read the news and what type of news they read, their opinion on the news they read, their opinion on solutions-oriented journalism, and how solutions-oriented journalism could fix the problem of negative news being spread.

Abhijay Ghosh, Age 14

Abhijay Ghosh is an avid reader and news consumer who enjoys watching news channels on the tv. “The news that I consume is factual but can also be partial” he said.  According to him, solutions-oriented journalism is when the journalist proposes solutions. He gives an example of murder cases that are being reported almost every week, where he believes that the public shouldn’t be hearing only about the deaths but more about how the problem can be solved. “With SOJO, we can see more solutions to the problem instead of policies and the controversies behind them”.

Saavya Mishra, Age 10

According to Saavya, who follows the news sometimes, solutions-oriented journalism is a type of article where the journalist talks about solutions to the topic. “I definitely think that it could solve the spread of negative news. There can be so many solutions that the public needs. Using SOJO, the public can learn about solutions to problems in their area”. He said that it would have a positive impact on readers since they would be oriented with solutions and it would give them hope.

Aarush Mehrotra, Age 17

Aarush is a consumer of the news who reads a variety of articles twice a day. The news that he reads tends to be factual and for the most part, is accurate, however, one agency is biased towards the left wing on the political spectrum, while the other is more centrist. Some articles may be biased, however, it isn’t an issue to him since they are marked as editorials. He says that the news he reads is mainly not negative. However, in cases where negative news is spread, he believes that it is similar to investigative journalism, where agencies try to find solutions and report about how the solution was found. “It could fix the issue, I think so. I think it’s because the entire focus is different, and if you are trying to give solutions, it won’t be negative, since as long as you don’t want to spread negative news, it will always be positive”.

Atharva Bhagat, Age 13

Atharva enjoys reading the news often, and he reads online articles and newspapers. According to Atharva, the news can be quite critical and negative at times, but when looking at multiple sources, it can be reliable. According to Atharva, solutions-oriented journalism is about solving problems rather than merely reporting them. “I feel like it is better than normal news both for curious readers and the concerned public since it gives a broader view and it talks about solutions to the problem and not only about the problem, which beyond a certain point is just stating facts”. He believes that solutions-oriented articles should be implemented where it is possible since he thinks it can severely cut down on negative news.

Ruhaan Jaiswal, Age 13

Ruhaan is a consumer of online news and enjoys consuming information on video platforms. Ruhaan has seen many cases of manipulated news that creators use in their videos solely for them to become more popular, which can cause the spread of negative news. “Solutions journalism, according to me, is to sort of evaluate situations while giving viable solutions for the public to know about”. In the case of manipulated news, Ruhaan believes that solutions journalism cannot fix the issue since a lot of media in the current day is produced by individuals and not companies, which gives them the liberty to manipulate information simply for their benefit. However, he said that mass news could have a positive impact while it will still exist on small platforms. “For big news stories it can work, but small stories can be manipulated easily since big companies don’t pick up the stories. Even if the stories are small, they are important, and when manipulated, it can cause the spread of both fake and negative news”.

With varied perspectives, the interviewees believe that solutions journalism is a constructive way of spreading information and can solve many issues with the way news is consumed and interpreted. To conclude, the public can greatly benefit the implementation of solutions-oriented journalism. I personally agree with what the interviewees said, and I do believe that SOJO can be a viable solution to stop negative news.

Lastly, I would like to ask you, the reader, what do you think about solutions-oriented journalism? Do you think that it is a viable solution to negative news being spread?

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