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ARTICLE: Solutions journalism engages stigmatized communities

pain_compliance_1769 by Pete, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

In areas stigmatized with high levels of violence, crime, and poverty, negative news stories may be the only local news available, write Andrea Wenzel, Evelyn Moreno, Minhee Son and Breanna Morrison Hawkins, of University of Southern California and Daniela Gerson, of California State University (not in original order). The article explores how participants in six focus groups responded to solutions-oriented stories produced by a local media project in South Los Angeles.

The study is based on a series of workshops that resulted in the production of a series of ‘solutions-oriented’ news stories. Two versions of the story were edited to offer examples of either a solutions-oriented story or a non-solutions version of the same story.

Most participants’ response to solutions journalism was highly positive and they preferred solutions-oriented stories to traditional problem-oriented news. The study suggests that media must enable reporters to embed themselves within communities. This helps them to be responsive and avoid unintentional microaggressions.

The article “Engaging stigmatized communities through solutions journalism: Residents of South Los Angeles respond” was published by Journalism. It is available here.

Picture: pain_compliance_1769 by Pete, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

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