Journalistic design can be seen as a close relative of critical design or a way of communicating critical design. I would suggest that journalistic approaches are less esoteric and more topical, with an emphasis on narrative while also enabling the potential to test potential solutions.
Journalistic design should investigate - it must have a basis of research into the issue, and have found something novel which is relatively unknown - a journalist does not work with well known issues.
Journalistic design should report - similar to a story, but this can be in the medium of artefact - a report is something that engages people, and tells the story of the problem.
Journalistic design should analyse - it should pose questions as to why the issue exists, and potentially, but not necessarily proffer a solution.
Journalistic design shares similarities with journalism in terms of how it can operate. Some design can be ‘tabloid’, creating sensationalist, appealing and provocative stories, or using a ‘broadsheet’ style - eloquent, refined and investigative.
It can also be used in collaboration with speculative design, creating fictitious scenarios which can enable people to situate themselves and their knowledge differently, opening up potential new ideas and solutions to issues.
Finally, the journalistic method can be an effective tool in research and testing solutions, in particular solutions which can be seen as risky, offensive or provocative. By situating ideas in a journalistic frame, you can distance yourself from the proposition and gain insights into barriers and opportunities which might otherwise be left covered.