Story ideas for student journalists

Req: A, N

We’ve been talking quite a bit in class about how journalists come up with story ideas. It’s the time of year when many student journalists are struggling with the same problem.

A recent post on the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication‘s discussion list for Small Programs prompted one member to post a list of potential idea sources.

1. Study bulletin boards. That includes electronic bulletin boards and other places where public notices are posted. Is there a new club on campus? An unusual class? A protest rally coming up? Jot down the contact info and check it out.

2. Read back issues of your newspaper. Keep a particular eye out for stories worth a follow-up. What’s happened since an affirmative action admissions program was discontinued? How has a rape prevention policy instituted five years ago affected sexual crimes on campus? Talk to your predecessor, the person who previously covered your beat, and ask about stories that warrant a second look or ones the reporter never got a chance to write.

[Continue reading How to Find Story Ideas]

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This blog is maintained by Dr. Matthew M. Reavy as a service to journalism students at the University of Scranton.

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