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.

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.

Apply now for project funding

The call for proposals is now open. 

We are looking to commission, support, and publish a small number of new and original visual stories with a solutions focus. The number of projects to be selected depends on the quality of the proposals. The level of funding for each project depends on the needs and viability of the proposal, but as a guide projects could be supported with a grant of approximately €5,000 each.

If you would like to apply please complete the application form, and send us a small portfolio of your best visual work via WeTransfer to David Campbell, Director of Programs and Outreach, with 'SVJI Application' in the WeTransfer subject heading.

The deadline for applications is Friday 6 September 2019, 17:30 CET.

The viability of the proposed project and fit with the five features of solutions journalism (stated on the resources page) will be the criteria against which applications will be judged.

We will then select a shortlist 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.

Please note: due to staff leave we will not be able to answer any email queries between 26 July and 28 August, but we will respond promptly after that date, and before the application deadline.

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.