Looking at public health from an impact-focused perspective

That is to say — how to report on solutions that are working

It’s way more than just a health issue

Looking at what is currently happening in the world can be overwhelming. It is a global health matter, although strictly connected to many other issues in our society. It can be addressed with a rigorous scientific method as well as with the most emotional and human attitude. If aiming at impact-focused storytelling, reporting about the complexity of the current global crisis may prove to be very hard.

So, how to focus on the solutions other than on the problem?

The Solutions Journalism Network took up the challenge of finding an answer to this and developed 24 main questions to help journalists and media experts report on Covid-19, while looking at what is working other than what is not. These questions are grouped into four main areas of impact:

Need to Support Populations Most Directly Affected or Most Vulnerable to Infection

1. What’s working to help the elderly stay healthy?|2. What’s working to provide health and safety resources for people experiencing homelessness?|3. What’s working to ensure the health and safety of people who are incarcerated?|4. What’s working to connect people with disabilities to health and safety resources?|5. What’s working to feed children dependent on school lunches?|6. What’s working to support single parents navigating childcare and work responsibilities?|7. What’s working to help school districts provide effective distance learning for students with disabilities? |8. What’s working to counter racism against Chinese, Korean and other Asian groups being targeted?

Need to Minimize Disruption of Social Distancing

9. What’s working to combat the social isolation that accompanies social distancing?|10. What’s working to optimize how schools are conducting virtual learning?|11. What’s working to create a sense of normalcy for children?|12. What’s working to support small businesses that have been forced to cease or curtail operations?|13. What’s working to help quarantined people vote from home?

Need to Create and Preserve Critical Resources

14. What’s working to ensure hospitals have enough face masks and gloves?|15. What’s working to rapidly create hospital beds and increase capacity?|16. What’s working to meet the increased need for ventilators and other hospital equipment?|17. What’s working to rapidly create hand sanitizer?|18. What’s working to treat the symptoms of Covid-19 at home/or for those without access to testing?|19. What’s working to combat disinformation around Covid-19?|20. What’s working to prevent ‘hoarding’ of essential supplies?

Need to Protect Occupations Most Directly Affected

21. What’s working to support the mental and physical health of doctors, nurses, and hospital workers?|22. What’s working to support the mental and physical health of essential service workers in pharmacies, grocery stores, delivery workers, and logistics workers?|23. What’s working to support workers who have temporarily or permanently lost their incomes?|24. What’s working to maintain the mental and physical health of journalists?

What does this have to do with Project Zoom at all?

After announcing the deadline extension for Project Zoom grant call, we worked on ways to benefit from the additional time gained and turn what looks like a constraint into an opportunity. One way we decided to go for is to add a new hot topic to our list of project themes. From now on, applicants will be able to build their proposals around the topic of ‘public health’. Given the focus of Project Zoom, this would not involve detailed reporting of the emergency, but rather overlooked and out-of-the-box stories aiming at having an impact on the audience they reach out to and society more broadly.

Applications will be open until 15 May 2020.

For application instructions and additional information about the programme, check out our Project Zoom website.

Written by

Impact Journalism Grant Programme // Medyada Değişim Yaratanlar İçin Hibe Programı

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