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finding story ideas....

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ScooterP, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. ScooterP

    ScooterP New Member

    Now that I've straightened out note taking, this is an even more important topic to me. I have been trying for a while to write stories and then query editors. Before I even get the query part, I am having trouble coming up with ideas for stories. I use message boards sometimes because like this one people say very interesting things that create questions in my mind. I've also heard good old fashioned shoe leather does the trick. I have another job while I try to get this writing thing completely off the ground and don't have a lot of time to go hanging around the athletic office at Northwestern U, not to mention they probably wouldn't want me there any way. any ideas about this folks?
  2. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    here's an idea: once somebody gives you a story idea, why don't you ask kindred to write it for you?
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Trolling message boards for story ideas. This...this will not end well.
  4. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    Here's something we're trying to beat into our SE's head: News does not happen in the newsroom.

    Sure, boss, why bother meeting the people you're interviewing? They're a whole two miles away from the office! Holy shit, you better just make a few three-minute phone calls to get all the dirt!
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Words to live by. And remember, just because you're not getting story ideas and leads every time you go out in the field doesn't mean you're not working. Our business is based on the fact that people talk. Ask yourself, who are they more likely to talk to -- some stranger who might pop his head in once a month or whenever he needs something? Or somebody who shows his face regularly and they're more familiar with?
    You might not get something every time, but just hanging out at practice or in a coach's office for a while can work wonders down the line. Listen to what they say, ask them about their team or whatever, and file some stuff away for later. If they mention something that might be a good feature, don't be afraid to come back a day or two later and say, "Hey coach, you remember when you said Billy All-Star was working on his fumbling problem? I wanted to ask you a little more about that."
    Getting story ideas is tough when you're starting out. But if you put in a little work, it's amazing how easy it can be.
  6. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    Read a lot of newspapers stories that are six inches or shorter. Find the ones that would make for a good feature given better attention.*

    *See Capote, Truman, Re: In Cold Blood.
  7. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Read similar sized newspapers from outside the coverage area. There's not much new under the sun. If Title IX is a big deal for small colleges two states away, it's probably an issue in your area....and if it isn't, then that's worth a story too.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    It helps if you have a wide range of friends and acquaintences of varying backgrounds and interests, if you get to know your community instead of maintaining the same traffic patterns every day, if you talk to people you don't know well just for the hell of it and you read a lot.
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