Unique Story Ideas

What is a unique story idea? Whenever I go searching for ideas to bring to class, I load up usual pages like the Columbian Missourian or the Columbia Tribune, both local papers here in town. But is looking here really unique? It’s my goal to try and come up with one unique story idea every each week, but this seems to trip me up every time I go on my search. I slowly realized that the key to this is forming connections. Right now I am working on a story involving putting medians to prevent j-walkers, namely college students, from crossing the street. There have been 11 motorist-pedestrian accidents in the last six years. I found that the Missourian reported on a story before the local City Council voted on whether to seek money for the medians, but I have yet to see a follow up story. I hope to be the first person with that story and get reactions based on the recent vote.

I plan to land an interview with one of the City Council. Provided everything goes well, it will be an excellent first step toward building a reliable source that I can constantly go back to for the latest news. As an aspiring journalist, it is vital to bring fresh news to the table. Reporting what has already been reported doesn’t do anybody any good. I will try to make my story come alive by including a lot of short snippets of interviews with students. I hope to get their opinions on whether they think a median is necessary for their safety. To do this I plan to go stand along College Avenue, where the proposed medians might be built, and see if I can pull students aside. In general, I think this will be a very helpful exercise for me as a journalist. My interviews in the past have drawn on, but for these I will want to get right to the point, mostly so I don’t make students late for class. Well, this has been my two cents for now. Be back in a couple weeks!

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