Since September, The Voice of Guanacaste has been telling stories from a Solutions Journalism perspective. “What does that mean?” some will ask. It means telling stories about people who are responding to the social problems they face in life.
Our first story talked about how Nosara’s firefighters use their cell phones to attend to a unfulfilled need: since the coastal district is 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Nicoya, official firefighters arrived at emergencies when it was already too late.
The article was chosen by the Solutions Journalism Network as one of the world’s 14 best stories in solutions journalism.
These stories cover responses, not ideas and rhetoric, but real solutions to solve a clearly identified problem,” according to the communique that recognizes our story. “They offer rigorous coverage and evaluate responses, how they were developed, what impact it had or didn’t have, and it provides the audience with ideas.”
The Solutions Journalism Network brings together 863 newsrooms from 156 countries that are publishing stories on this angle. The Voice of Guanacaste is the only newspaper in Costa Rica and Latin America that belongs to the network.
Why do we do it? Because we want to give a 360 view to stories.
We are working on changing the culture of news, because not every story should focus on what is lacking or what needs to improve,” said Emiliana Garcia, our newspaper’s executive director. “We also need to investigate and tell stories about solutions that found a way to create positive change.”
The Voice of Guanacaste reports these stories thanks to a grant from the Crusa Foundation. We have told other stories with this grant money, like an organization that is empowering Guanacastecan women in sexual and reproductive rights, or how coastal communities are filling the void in education for children during the teachers’ strike, and how Tamarindo is recovering forgotten land.