Helaina Hovitz is one of the relative few journalists focusing on what has come to be known as “solutions journalism,” the art and craft of covering the solutions to societal problems. This is a club to which I, too, am proud to belong.
Helaina got her start at a young age. “When I was 18, I was given the opportunity to cover a story for the local paper about a teacher in a challenging school environment who was legally blind and only had one arm, and inspired his students to stay in school. Then, I was given the chance to cover the lives of homeless men making new starts for themselves at the New York City Rescue Mission. It was off to the races from there,” she says.
Solutions journalism is at the opposite end of the media spectrum from TMZ, meaning that the audience is smaller and money is harder to find. Helaina says, “As a journalist who was constantly retraumatized by the news, I never gave up on my life’s dream of becoming a journalist, and tried to focus on stories that I felt were meaningful, important, and inspiring whenever I could.”
Helaina recently launched Headlines for the Hopeful to give her a platform for sharing more stories that bring hope for the solutions to the world’s big problems. She is also a Forbes contributor and the author of the soon-to-be released memoir of her experience as a young 9/11 survivor called After 9/11.
She attributes her success to persistence and kindness. She got where she is due to “A refusal to give up when no doors would open, a kind and friendly attitude towards everyone I meet, sobriety, mindfulness, and the support of the people I am closest with, including my family, friends, and fiancè,” she says.
On Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Helaina will join me here for a live discussion about her career and her passion for finding hope in a bleak world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Headlines for the Hopeful:
Headlines for the Hopeful: Headlines for the Hopeful is a digital news service designed to spotlight the unique and innovative efforts put forth by individuals and organizations working to create a better future. The current media landscape focuses too heavily on crime, terror, and everything else that’s “wrong” with the world. We think it’s time to focus on what people are doing to help make it right. Our generation is becoming increasingly concerned with the welfare of the planet and those who live on it, but it’s not always easy for us to track down the meaningful stories we want to share with our audience. Our belief is there is a strong demand for accurate information—free of religious affiliation and political partisan leaning—about the ways in which we can positively affect the lives of others and improve the welfare of our planet.
After 9/11: The first memoir of a direct child survivor of 9/11 who narrowly survived the attacks and continued to live in a neighborhood that became a war zone, growing up with the psychological fallout that followed. In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day, of a group of children who directly survived September 11th, 2001 and bore its invisible scars for the rest of their lives, and for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning.
I’m a native New Yorker who has always had the unreasonable notion that I can help change the world. My greatest passion is writing about charities, social good, nonprofits, societal issues, philanthropy and inspirational people. I am making my debut as an author in September of 2016, and am Co-Founder and Editorial Director of the brand new Headlines for the Hopeful, a digital news service designed to spotlight the unique and innovative efforts put forth by people and organizations working to create a better future. I’m also the New York City Restaurant Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and a contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post, and Recovery.Org. Most recently, I served as Managing Editor at the Good News Network, Editor in Chief and Co-Creator of Affect Magazine, and as a Contributing Editor at Avenue Magazine. I have also written for The New York Times, Salon, Marie Claire, Newsday, Teen Vogue, Chicago Tribune, SCENE Magazine, Time Out NY, Broadway.com, New York Observer, New York Press, Narratively, amNewYork, The Lo Down, New York Post, the Downtown Express, the Villager, Chelsea Now and Social Life.