The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) has launched the LEDE Fellowship to foster entrepreneurship in solutions journalism.
There is $2,500 up for grabs for at least 15 international applicants and the money can be used in their own region on getting their project off the ground. This typically includes event space, web materials and production costs.
The organisation defines 'entrepreneurship' as, for example, a new solutions-orientated publication, podcast or broadcast, integrating solutions journalism into any level of journalism education, and creative ways of collaborating with other solutions journalism projects.
"Much attention has been given to what's wrong with journalism - audience mistrust, polarising narratives, failing revenue models, local news desserts... Less attention has been given to what's working," said Julia Hotz, community manager, SJN.
"We believe journalism practitioners near and far have been successfully experimenting with new models, and we hope the LEDE Fellowship helps accelerate such innovations by connecting these champions to learn from each other."
It is a solutions-minded approach to journalism itself. Financed by the SJN funders, the Lede Fellowship is part of SJN’s long-term goal to introduce solutions journalism into every newsroom and expand their Solutions Story Tracker database of 6,500+ solutions stories.
This allows policymakers, educators, nonprofits, and news consumers to understand, at a glance or in-depth, the positive side to society’s problems.
"In our five-plus years of existence, we've been awed by the entrepreneurs advancing solutions journalism in our network," said Hotz.
Philadelphia's award-winning collaborative on prisoner re-entry and the Richland Source's successful efforts to raise $70k in local support for solutions journalism, are two key examples of this, she added.
"Instead of having our idea of what success looks like in your community and prescribing it equally across cities, we have learned to rely on local actors, local expertise, and local entrepreneurship to achieve success."
Candidates have until 21 July 2019 to apply.
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