How to find stories

May 4, 2018

 

The first thing journalists are judged on is the quality of their news ideas.

 

Here are six ways to help you find news stories and win the trust of your editors.

 
Talk to People

 

The first thing we’re taught in Journalism School is to get out and talk to people. Even if you have completely no idea about what your next story is going to be, you’re bound to find something if you just get out of your office. The world is moving, people have always interesting stories to tell and there is always something going on.

 

Find people at a sports game, shopping centre or an art gallery and learn what is important to them.

 

Also, the contacts you’ll gain by doing this will certainly lead you to more stories.

 
Read the News

 

If you don’t know what’s going on in the world, you’re simply not a good journalist. Staying informed all the time and reading those in-depth analyses will not only give you a better understanding of how the world works but will also lead you to ask questions. Use these questions to create stories.

 

Social Media

 

As a journalist, your social media strategy should involve more than just posting photos on Facebook or tweeting about Donald Trump.

 

Social media helps you understand the zeitgeist of the time. ‘Listen’ to what people are talking and how they react to breaking news. They can always give you a different angle on a story.

 

To find out about what people are talking about in your area, find your geolocation and copy it in Twitter’s advanced search.

 
History

 

Pull out a calendar to see what was making news one year ago, five years ago or a decade ago. Anniversaries can make for great stories if your community had suffered through a natural disaster, sports triumph or political scandal.

 

Find out about how the community has moved on or where the protagonists are now.

 

Find the Local Angle

 

Read the news to see what is going on in the world. Even if you’re thousands of miles away from the action, you can localize the story to bring it closer to home.

 

Use social media or get out to see what people have to say about big events.

 

If there’s a big hurricane in… let’s say Florida, arrange an interview with your local councillor to see what your community is doing to protect itself.

 
Follow-Up Stories

 

Interesting stories always have many angles. If you feel that you haven’t exhausted your story’s potential and there are still many things to talk about, write a follow-up story.

 

Ask your editor if you can work on a series of articles. They always make for an interesting read!

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©2018 by Stelios Marathovouniotis