Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative

An initiative to promote and produce visual journalism with a solutions focus

The World Press Photo Foundation and MIAP, the Message in a Photo foundation, are beginning an initiative to promote and produce visual journalism with a solutions focus.

The Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative (SVJI) has three objectives:

  • Develop what a solutions focus means for visual journalism
  • Commission, fund, and publish a small number of solutions stories in 2019-2020
  • Use these new stories to educate both the profession and engage the public on the benefits of a solutions focus in visual journalism

Developing what a solutions focus means for visual journalism

The SVJI will work in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network to support a new perspective in visual journalism. Solutions journalism changes the frame of the story to address “the negativity bias” in the media. Rather than focusing only on problems, solutions journalism looks for where people are already taking action to deal with difficult issues. A solutions story is the product of rigorous reporting on a response to a problem.

On the solutions visual journalism resources page you will find the five key elements for any solutions visual journalism project, and further resources to better understand this perspective.

Commissioning, supporting, and publishing solutions stories in 2019-2020

The SVJI will commission, support, and publish a small number of new visual stories with a solutions focus. This will be done through a call for a diverse group of visual journalists to produce original, high-quality stories. The SVJI will provide a small budget for each chosen visual journalist to produce their story, and will encourage stories that can reach global audiences, especially younger audiences, through multiple channels and platforms. There will also be the opportunity for publication with media partners, including the New York Times “Fixes” column, as well as Witness, World Press Photo’s online magazine.

The deadline for applications for the first open call has closed

During September 2019 we will select a shortlist - fit with the five features of solutions journalism (stated on the resources page) is the criteria for selection - and arrange online interviews with applicants on the shortlist before announcing the stories that have been commissioned.

We will notify all applicants which stories have been commissioned. That decision will be final and no negotiations or correspondence with unsuccessful applicants will be entered into.

Educating both the profession and engage the public on the benefits of a solutions focus in visual journalism

The new work enabled by the SVJI will be used by WPPF, MIAP and the Solutions Journalism Network in their education, debate, and publication programs around the world to show other visual journalists the benefits of a solutions focus in visual journalism.

If you have questions, please contact David Campbell, Director of Programs and Outreach.

Image credit (top): From 'Yemen Crisis' by Lorenzo Tugnoli, awarded 1st prize in the General News, Stories category of the 2019 Photo Contest.

Image credit (above left): From 'Hunger Solutions' by Luca Locatelli, awarded 2nd prize in the Environment, Stories category of the 2018 Photo Contest. 

Image credit (above right): From 'Finding Freedom in the Water' by Anna Boyiazis, awarded 2nd prize in the People, Stories category of the 2018 Photo Contest.