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Images & Voices of Hope | December 2, 2020

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Solutions Journalism Network’s David Bornstein: ‘Problems scream but the solutions whisper’

Solutions Journalism Network’s David Bornstein: ‘Problems scream but the solutions whisper’


In his talk at ivoh’s Mindful Media Summit, David Bornstein explained how journalists can improve their coverage by focusing more on solutions and less on problems. Bornstein is a founder of the Solutions Journalism Network — an organization that helps journalists report stories on responses to social problems.

Here are some takeaway quotes from Bornstein’s talk:

  • “The destructive story we know very well. That’s the story of five people in a terrorist cell destabilizing a whole nation. We know that story. We tell that story. It’s on the front pages. But five people can also create something enormously constructive.”
  • “Where are these orchids in the cracks in the pavements blooming around the world?”
  • Bornstein recognized Marshall Ganz, who has talked about the importance of criticality and a hopeful heart. It’s “recognition of the world’s pain and recognition of the world’s possibilities that brings change. You need both of those. So we in journalism do a lot on ‘we need to make people aware about the pain,’ ‘we need to create outrage about the pain’ and so forth. But recognition of possibilities is sometimes the thing that is forgotten because the problems scream but the solutions whisper.”

Bornstein was joined by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan, who has reported several solutions-based stories on the homeless population in the Bay Area. Roberta Baskin, president of ivoh’s board of trustees, moderated the session.

Here’s a video of the session, created by ivoh award winner and documentary filmmaker Erin Turney:


ivoh 2014 Afternoon Session from Erin Turney on Vimeo.


Related: Highlights from ivoh’s 2014 Mindful Media Summit | Drawings capture memorable moments, quotes from ivoh Mindful Media Summit | ivoh youth workshop shows value of personal narratives, diversity of age | How Anh Do takes a restorative approach to covering breaking news & multicultural stories Celebrating ivoh’s 2014 Awards of Appreciation winners | How media makers can develop authentic community narratives | ivoh summit offers opportunity to connect, reflect, & explore power of storytelling | How media makers can tell authentic community narratives