RCE Puerto Rico - 2023

Sustainable development solutions journalism: the case of SOSteniendo Puerto Rico
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sustainable development solutions journalism: the case of SOSteniendo Puerto Rico
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Puerto Rico
Contributing organization(s) : 
Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Sagrado)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Cielo Naara Ríos Camacho
Organizational Affiliation: 
Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
Format of project: 
Presentation will be a slideshow. Original project is audiovisual.
Language of project: 
Presentation will be in English. Original project is in Spanish.
Date of submission:
Friday, August 25, 2023
Additional resources: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Puerto Rico
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Calle San Antonio Rosales, Parada 26.5, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00914

Project is urban-based, but stories are planned to cover various Puerto Rican geographies.
Target Audience:
Journalism and Production students.
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
SOSteniendo Puerto Rico´s team rotates, so establishing a tendency of their socioeconomic profile would be generally inaccurate. We can affirm, however, that SOSteniendo´s core team is composed of female students from the East, West, and metropolitan regions of the archipelago who present financial need as derived from their qualification for the Federal Work-Study Program from the U.S. Department of Education. Some also have a need to hold a job outside the program and the whole team.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
SOSteniendo Puerto Rico is a journalism project that addresses the journalistic communication gap between archipelago-wide sustainability efforts and their distribution. In the wake of Hurricane María in 2017 and earthquakes in 2020, Puerto Rico has seen various third sector organizations and civil efforts emerge. However, the local media does not dedicate itself to covering their work. Even if they report on sustainability issues, SOSteniendo Puerto Rico distinguishes itself by focusing on solutions and applying the news value criteria of sustainable journalism, therefore reinforcing the value of the development framework for narratives.
August, 2023
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have only one target directly linked to journalism: SDG 16.10. Moreover, little is known of how journalists should approach sustainability as a subject, whether from SDGs or other frameworks. Also, there is no mainstream trend positioning sustainable development at the center of the practice or its corresponding. SOSteniendo Puerto Rico proposes to engage both fellow students and Academic Leaders in creating journalism content that responds to sustainable development solutions. By doing so, SOSteniendo Puerto Rico can progressively build a sustainable journalism conscience between both parties, which can progressively multiply or augment efforts of reporting on the subject and integrating it on the academic agenda.

The information shared though our journalism content will be able to frame current activities on our archipelago within the sustainability perspective, therefore demystifying the perception that Puerto Rico has no sustainability efforts and no concern on the issues it entails. Stories able to combine different angles on who are accountable, who are responding, and what’s the context of the solutions at hand elaborate on the complexities of driving sustainability on an unofficial colony and empower individual actions, without exempting responsible parties of taking correspondent actions.
At the end of the semester, participants will be able to (1) identify sustainable development pillars, (2) enumerate and describe the subjects each pillar includes, (3) recognize sustainable development solutions story leads, (4) drive insightful discussions on, at least, one sustainability subject, and (5) assemble a joint database of sources related to local sustainable development.

Their progress will be evaluated through “Lessons Learned” meetings and rubrics. They will give feedback on the project and their own execution periodically. Professors will be evaluated based on how their perception on the importance and viability of integrating sustainable development to curriculum changes. Audience perception of the program has not yet been evaluated, besides general social media statistics, for mainstream distribution is not secured yet.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Our general workflow per episode includes editorial board meetings, on-site reporting, story recording, publishing, and social media management throughout the process. Editorial meetings consist of three meetings throughout the episode production where we generate the angles to be developed on the production, possible sources, work timeline, discuss follow-ups and evaluate our stories. Social media management is maximized to connect with audiences through insight posts, back-the-scenes previews and other content that showcases our efforts and editorial perspective. All of our activities are guided, but not restricted by, solutions journalism framework and sustainable journalism practices. That is, by an editorial guideline focused on rigorously evaluating current solutions (instead of problems) on sustainability concerns. We also strive for sustainable production practices however, we are limited by budget and resource availability.
Size of academic audience: 
Expected learners from this project include, approximately, 3 journalists, 3 photojournalists, 1 social media manager, 2 editors, and 2 light & sound technicians. The project also targets 2 Academic Leaders from the Ferré Rangel School of Communications.
At the end of the semester, we expect to have produced 9 stories, 3 analysis forums, and 3 TV shows. Each show, which includes the stories and forums, will be evaluated according to a rubric based on sustainable journalism and solutions journalism measures, as well as the professional development objectives set up. Our aim is to build comparable data across production seasons to assess SOSteniendo Puerto Rico’s ability to foster sustainable journalism capacities within its staff.
Lessons learned: 
Expected challenges are leveling participants’ skills and time management. As mitigation, we have established onboarding sessions to evaluate participants’ current understanding of the skills and knowledge required and workshop sessions for working on said skills. In terms of time management, there may be time conflicts with other productions in the University. For this, we have established alternate production dates.

Expected opportunities include networking with professors through journalism workshops and connecting with faculty and students from the Sagrado Sustainable Development program.
Key messages: 
SOSteniendo Puerto Rico is a student-run media that gathers journalists and sustainability changemakers from the archipelago to rigorously report on their solutions and position their efforts forward. Students learn how to develop stories on sustainability solutions and Academic Leaders are frontline supporters of how to integrate sustainability to professional development.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
SOSteniendo Puerto Rico is not related to other RCE efforts yet.
This semester, SOSteniendo Puerto Rico was granted Federal Work-Study funding for qualifying crew members.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Behind-the-scenes direction_Ámbar.jpg (176.98 KB) Behind-the-scenes from the recording of our first panel. Ámbar Villafañe Vélez
Image icon Sound test_Cielo.jpg (8.89 MB) In-situ sound test Cielo Naara Ríos Camacho
Image icon Technical direction_Natasha.jpg (154.87 KB) Show´s technical direction Natasha Aponte Cordero
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
I acknowledge the above: