In the spirit of year-end reflecting, I wanted to share an aha-moment that informs my work at Moonshine Ink and indeed serves as a guiding principle in life.

When I was growing up, my father had a policy that before you got to drive a car, you first had to learn to change the oil and fix a flat tire, instilling a valuable sense of self-reliance and scrappiness that remain with me to this day.

I also was fortunate to attend an International Baccalaureate program for high school, one of the first in the nation. It was a rigorous curriculum served by excellent teachers. From it, I picked up a skill I thank my lucky stars I was exposed to: critical thinking.

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One day I realized that these two attributes — scrappiness and critical thinking — come together in a concept that is taking root in our field: solutions-based journalism. The idea is that journalists frequently spend so much time talking about problems — understandably, as they do have a tendency to scream quite loud — that we neglect looking for solutions, which often are a quiet tour de force missed in today’s world of “sensation sells.”

“Of course, this doesn’t mean that solutions don’t exist. We just need to reorient how we see the world, to be more mindful of compelling solutions. There are two tricks to doing this. The first is knowing where to look, and the second is knowing what to ask,” opines solutionsjournalism.org.

This year, Moonshine Ink started off with the first installment of our Housing Crisis series in February (see here). While we focused on framing the issue, telling the story of the trials and tribulations, we also spent time looking at attempted solutions and weighed their efficacy.

For every question, there’s a solution out there waiting to be plucked from the tree. How do women get empowered to kick some booty? They form a girl tribe (here). What happens when senior citizens become snowbound and can’t get to the store for food? You bring their meals to them (here). What do you do with all those copies of 2016 Moonshine Inks?

You use them to wrap gifts (here).

Not all solutions will stick, but a scrappy attitude and critical thinking keep the ball moving forward. And in today’s world, momentum may be the one thing keeping us from falling over.
 

Author

  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

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