This report illustrates responses to systemic social problems in underrepresented and stigmatized communities at the local level. The research shows that residents often use alternative digital sources to cross-check stories and seek other information to help navigate and critically interpret mainstream local coverage. Participants said they would be more likely to seek out news and share stories if solutions journalism were more common. In communities with a long history of overwhelmingly negative coverage, stories featuring community perspectives that take a critical look at responses to social problems offer an opportunity to strengthen connections between residents, media, and community organizations.
Project leads: Daniela Gerson, Evelyn Moreno, Andrea Wenzel