Important news: How to be part of the solution

Letter to our readers:

Oh, what a year!

We’ve all seen the headlines and felt the pain of horrible news throughout the world:
  • 4th student dies from Michigan school shooting
  • Indonesia volcano: Death toll rises
  • Aide arrested after bringing gun to Capitol
  • Environmental disasters across the globe
  • Long COVID destroys careers, leaving economic distress in its wake
  • Omicron may require a 4th vaccine dose sooner than expected, Pfizer says
  • Deadly tornadoes devastate communities in 6 states
  • And on and on and on … 
The “news’’ seems so depressing at times that many of us have stopped watching TV news, unplugged from social media, and forbidden our children from visiting certain websites or streaming videos.

So what’s the alternative without losing track of what’s going on locally and in the world around us?

Going in a forward direction

83 Degrees Media follows a path of reporting on what’s truly relevant to how we live our lives today and who, what, when, and where will shape what’s next. We call it Solutions Journalism. The idea is not to downplay the importance of knowing the bad news. But rather to lift up the good news. Good news about talent, innovation, diversity, environment. Good news about influencers, innovators, and investors. Good news about great ideas, terrific young people seen as rising stars, and real leadership in the arts, in philanthropy, in neighborhoods, in cities, etc. as catalysts for change to make the Tampa Bay Area a better place.

Sample headlines in our online publication and weekly newsletter:
  • Community Land Trust could help alleviate local affordable housing crisis
  • NASA opens patent portfolio to HCC, USF students in Tampa
  • Keeping a dream alive: Envisioning a chess park in East Tampa
  • Where are they now? Recent college grads carve out new opportunities
  • HCC snags funding to help expand vet services nationwide
  • Tampa Monarch Project founder inspires through eco-education initiatives
  • Creative placemaking: Opportunities for artists to work their magic
  • Black Stock Footage of Tampa gains recognition, top prizes for startups
  • And on and on and on … 
While it’s true that, given a choice, most of us would rather hear bad news first, all of us want the good news to have a longer lasting impression. We want to learn and know about solutions and solution makers. We want our children and grandchildren to have hope, find success, and feel good about themselves, our community, and our collective future. We want to find opportunities to encourage and support other people, programs, and projects that lead to more good news. Right? That’s what Solutions Journalism is designed to do.

How you can help

As part of that effort, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay created the Solutions Journalism Fund in late 2020 to support stories about the impact of philanthropy and nonprofits in the arts, education, public health, equity issues, community building, and placemaking.

You can ensure this kind of reporting is robust and long-lasting going forward.

All it takes is a contribution that fits within your financial comfort zone, whether that’s $50 or $500 or $5,000 or more. Every dollar helps support working journalists who approach storytelling from a solutions perspective. Will you help make a difference and be part of the solution by following this link to the Solutions Journalism Fund?

Thank you in advance for supporting solutions journalism.

Diane Egner
Publisher and Managing Editor
83 Degrees Media

P.S. We set a goal to raise $50,000 in 2021 for the Solutions Journalism Fund. To date, we are at $44,750. Next year, we aim to grow and expand. Whatever you can donate now will make a difference in what we can do in 2022 and beyond.

Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is an award-winning journalist with four decades of experience writing about the Tampa Bay region. She is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society, and serves on the board of The Institute for Research in Art (Graphicstudio, the Contemporary Art Museum, and USF’s Public Art Program) Community Advisory Council and the StageWorks Theatre Advisory Council. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Broadcasting. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Awesome Tampa Bay, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She lives in South Tampa, is the mother of two adult daughters and grandmother to two amazing grandchildren, and travels whenever possible with laptop in tow.