As part of our global health coverage, we are seeking proposals for projects that examine solutions to health challenges.

The Pulitzer Center has partnered with the Solutions Journalism Network to strengthen reporting that takes this approach by offering editorial guidance from David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg, co-founders of the Solutions Journalism Network and The New York Times Fixes blog. Solutions-oriented proposals should still use the normal Pulitzer Center grant application.

If you are unfamiliar with solutions journalism, please read the Network's explanation of the approach:

Solutions journalism is critical and clear-eyed reporting that investigates and explains credible responses to social problems.

It looks at examples where people are working toward solutions, focusing not just on what may be working, but how and why it appears to be working (based on evidence), or, alternatively, why it may be stumbling. It delves deep into the how-to's of problem solving, often structuring stories as puzzles or mysteries that investigate questions like: What models are having success reducing the dropout rate and how do they actually work?

When done well, the stories provide valuable insights about how communities may better tackle important problems. As such, solutions journalism can be both highly informing and engaging, providing a reporting foundation for productive, forward looking (and less polarizing) community dialogues about vital social issues.

Solutions journalism, like all journalism, is about great story telling. Like any good stories, they have characters who are grappling with challenges, experimenting, succeeding, failing, learning. What's different is that the narrative is driven by the problem solving and the conflict is located in the inherent difficulty in solving a problem, not merely in the (often simplistic) he-said-she-said argument that may surround it. Solutions journalism reports on responses that are working or not. We can learn just as much from a failure as a success. The key is to look at the whole picture, the problem and the response (journalism often stops short of the latter).

Solutions journalism is expressly not about advocating for or proposing particular models, organizations or ideas. Journalists pursuing solutions stories are bringing their journalistic tools to bear on reporting, examining, and writing without a specific agenda (save for the self-evident agenda that society should have the facts, as best as they can be ascertained, about how efforts to address problems are faring). The reporters who care most about the problems they cover should also care deeply about helping society to become knowledgeable about how to solve them. That means swinging the spotlight far and wide and focusing on data and evidence.

Solutions Journalism shouldn't be confused with the "civic journalism" or "public journalism" movements. It is simply a journalistic practice, or craft, that aims to tell whole stories (problems and responses). It is simply about great journalism. We see a clear distinction between solutions journalism and what is often called "good news." "Good news" stories tend to celebrate individuals and inspirational acts. They often focus on the kindness of strangers, present the protagonist as hero, and use little external evidence in the reporting.

Solutions journalism is about ideas, how people are trying to make them work, and their observable or measurable effects. What makes solutions journalism compelling is the discovery — the journey that brings the reader or viewer to an insight about how the world works and, perhaps, how it could be made to work better.

That is the essence of the best solutions journalism: deep dives, critical assessments, and compelling stories about the ideas, models, policies, organizations, and people working to solve our toughest problems.