Positive Deviance Journalism

Civic Ventures

Date Awarded
Grant Period
01/14/14 to 08/13/15
Focus Area
Knight News Challenge

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To build a curriculum on positive deviance journalism for reporters and editors, and provide mentors to newsrooms helping them develop editorial strategies that look for positive trends in health data.

The Solutions Journalism Network seeks to broaden the role of journalism: it should not just uncover society’s ills, but also report on responses to those problems. Founded by writers of the New York Times “Fixes” column, the Network works with newsrooms looking to include regular coverage of how communities, individuals and institutions are addressing challenges – and what society can learn from such efforts. Using this framework, the Solutions Journalism Network will collaborate with partner newsrooms and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to scan data sets for “positive deviance” in the health sector— examples of promising health results that could lead to important stories. For example, journalists in a city with large black/white disparities in preterm birth rates could identify cities that have reduced this gap, and report on how the gains were achieved. Expert coaching will help newsrooms find, vet, develop and write these stories.

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Project Team

Tina Rosenberg

Solutions Journalism Network co-founder Tina Rosenberg, director of this project, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who co-authors the “Fixes” column in The New York Times “Opinionator” section. SJN’s Sarika Bansal, who manages our partnership with IHME and other data providers, is a journalist who specializes in social innovation and global health.

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