In 2010, The New York Times launched a column called Fixes, with writers Tina Rosenberg and David Bornstein at the helm. There was a different type of reporting on offer: a dive into solutions to problems that our society is facing and why they work.
Though we now recognise this practice as solutions journalism - defined as rigorous reporting on societal problems - at the time, the column wanted to prove there was an audience demand for an alternative to the status quo of drama-obsessed news reporting.
The column has successfully helped audiences access uncomfortable topics and even share them with their friends and colleagues. Underreported practices have emerged through these stories. For instance, articles on the alarming rate of preschool expulsions in the US showed that there are more efficient ways to help young children manage their behaviour and emotions than punishments and detentions.
But last month, the Fixes column closed down after 11 years. In this week's podcast, the co-creator David Bornstein, also an author and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, looks back on the column: the highs and lows, the breakthrough stories, and the lessons learned along the way. Listen on for tips on how to get your newsroom and reporters acquainted with solutions journalism and in doing so, increase trust and engagement with your readers.
NYT will continue its solutions reporting through its latest series Headway, a collection of journalism that looks at how people of years past expected the future to play out, how it actually played out and what we can learn from the result.