Solutions Journalism

Solutions Journalism involves reporting on a response to a problem and how that response works in meaningful detail. It focuses on effectiveness, sharing concrete evidence of results as well as limitations on the approach.

For this exercise, participants in the “Disrupt the News” workshop at Zagreb University created three different versions of one story about turning biowaste into bioplastic, effectively reducing waste in our landfills and reducing the need for non-renewable resources.

Story 1 is a traditional news package with standard reporter narration, original video and interviews.

Story 2 uses aggregated video content and presents the story in a style popular on Newsy, a U.S.-based news brand focused on delivering news designed for millennials and Gen X consumers.

Story 3 breaks the “fourth wall” and addresses the audience directly, trying to involve viewers in the story.

View the examples below and take our poll to choose the version you find most compelling.

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Which story do you find most compelling?
Which story do you find most compelling?

TRADITIONAL FORMAT

Our assignment was to create a story in a traditional television format about Circular Economy, strategy by the European Union that fights bio-waste. We produced our story by filming, writing voice over and asking students about this problem and solution. We divided our work into two parts: Ivona and Petar headed out of the class to film while Ivana and Iva were exploring the strategy and writing voice-overs.

The challenging part was to write an easy-going story about this not so easy topic, which for many is still abstract. We tried our best putting all the relevant information in our one-minute television story, so it was also a bit challenging dividing what’s important and what’s not. Also, the thing we were missing while doing this story, was the fact that we can’t use any kind of interaction with the audience and break the fourth wall.

Ivona Malbašić, Ivana Abramović, Petar Kleščić and Iva Marušić

NEWSY APPROACH

Our assignment was to produce a short story about the Circular Economy strategy for biodegradable waste that The European Commission adopted in 2015. In order to make our job more interesting, we had to do it in a “Newsy” approach, using only already existing video materials combined with our voiceover.

The most challenging part of creating a solution story in the form of “Newsy” approach was to simplify written material that we were given. We needed to find a way to communicate with the audience using understandable language and appealing visuals. Also, it was hard to dig up some concrete results that prove how the Circular Economy strategy works in real life.

Each of us had a different role in the creation of the content. While Ana and Klara were writing the script and recording the voiceover, Ivana searched for the videos and edited the story. All visuals were downloaded online, mainly from YouTube. Divided roles made our assignment much easier and more effective.

 

Ivana Turkalj, Klara Berdais, Ana Brenčić

BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL

We had to make a video in which we had to explain how from some trash comes the new products we use, for example, the plastic bottle. Our assignment was to do the story by breaking the fourth wall — the imaginary wall that separates journalists from directly relating to our audiences.

Our primary difficulties included lack of relevant video and since we chose to interview each other, but because we already knew the topic, our answers were not really spontaneous.

Renata Šimić, Mia Buljan, Andrea Guša, Andrej Soldo and Kristina Jozić

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