SOJO training for journalists
As part of the MAX project, European news organization The Local has developed a curriculum for solutions-focused migration reporting and used it to deliver training and workshops to journalists working across the EU. Throughout 2020, The Local has offered training on a solution-focused approach to migration reporting for over 100 journalists.
The training was offered for free to journalists at different levels of their careers, including student journalists, in online and live sessions. The goal was to make diverse migration experiences more visible and to tackle polarised narratives through articles investigating potential solutions to problems faced by migrant communities.
The training has been developed by The Local based on Solutions Journalism methodology. It covered best practices for reporting on migration, a step-by-step guide for finding and reporting a solutions-focused story (as well as guidance on publications, funding, and awards that support this kind of journalism), and discussion on making reporting as inclusive as possible.
More than 300 journalists applied to take part in the training, which throughout 2020 we have delivered for free to two groups of journalists: around 40 experienced migration journalists and 60 student and early-career journalists.
The trainees are based in 20 countries across Europe, and many either have a migration background themselves and/or have worked directly with migrants and refugees.
The student and early career trainees were given the chance to work on an article of their own, with mentoring and feedback from The Local’s journalists and their peers. Participants had free choice over which projects they wrote about — the only criteria were that the articles focused on a response to a problem that was based in Europe and had a strong link to migration.
These articles look at a wide range of challenges facing migrant communities across Europe, from mental health trauma to high rates of unemployment, and they examine responses on the local, regional, and national levels.
The articles are published in The Local's section ‘Changing the narrative’. We hope that these articles help give a new perspective to the topic of migration, by reporting on signs of progress and the lessons we can learn.
Thank you to all the journalists and students who joined the course. A final guide to solutions-focused migration reporting will be made publicly available at the end of the project in February 2021, incorporating feedback and learnings from participants. If you are a journalist, researcher, or educator who would like to be put on the mailing list to receive the guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org