Assume everyone and everything has a story to tell.
This was the guiding principle in my first session of the day, “200+ Story Ideas” with University of Oklahoma’s Lori Brooks and University of Tampa’s Dan Reimold. The pair not only gave innovative ideas for stories that have never been done before, they also gave new perspectives to take on stories that are covered every year so the story won’t be the same thing that’s been done hundreds of times before.
An example that I found particularly interesting (and timely) is covering homecoming weekend. It’s natural to do the usual story on who was crowned king and queen, who won the game and what the alums did, but it’s more interesting to profile specific individuals. For instance, Brooks suggested sending a reporter to follow individuals on homecoming court from the time they get up to the time they go to the game – did they go get a tan? What did they eat for breakfast? Who did they get ready with? This would be an interesting alternative to the typical homecoming weekend story that runs every year.
Above all, the main idea I took away from this session is that every story has been told and re-told, but it’s up to us as reporters to bring a fresh perspective to the story that readers will find interesting. I’m really glad I attended this session, and I hope to use my new-found story ideas in my future editorial involvement on The Pendulum staff.
– Kyra Gemberling