Here are FIVE easy ways to find a story, either a feature story or news story.
1) IT’S YOU!
Are YOU interested? This is the most important aspect. In the journalism you write, you are your own best editor. See something, hear something, is that a story? If YOU’RE interested it means someone else probably will be, too. Don’t forget you are a reader/listener too. Listen to your own instincts, trust them. It will help in the writing of the story too. You will be inspired if it interests you. The copy will flow much easier. If it doesn’t inspire, it will be a chore to write.
Talk to your friends for a journalism story. Listen to what they are saying. Indeed, become a good listener. You will of course have your opinion but listen to what your mates are saying. They have jobs, families, and interests. From any of these areas stories can surface. It will spark your interest, almost without warning. But respect privacy. Friends may not wish to be involved in a journalism story. That’s fine. Ask if you can do it, “off the record.”
3) SOCIAL NETWORKS
The advent of digital media has completely changed journalism. It will never be the same again. None of us know how journalism will be paid for in the future, but it will undoubtedly survive. So much for where we’re going. The reality now is that Twitter and Facebook are now great sources for stories. The celebrities are just there, helping the journalist. They now happily broadcast exactly what is happening in their lives. Take a look. It’s all there. Use these as leads for journalism stories.
4) LOCAL NEWSPAPERS
Despite all the changes in digital media, the local newspaper that can drop through your front door can potentially have some great stories. The best thing about using local papers for your journalism is that more than likely these stories won’t have been done in the national press/media. Look on local websites of papers too. There will be good leads there, too. You may also find a way or angle on a national story. This could make its way straight into the national media. Local papers are also a great source of human interest journalism. When something newsworthy happens to a member of the public, they invariably think of the local media, and then the national media if they would like to sell their journalism story.
5) WEBSITE SEARCHES
Wonderful Google. For a specialist writer, this is a brilliant way to pick up those all important leads for journalism stories. If for instance many of your stories come from the Home Office in Britain simply put that into the Google search engine as a saved search. This brings up every mention of the Home Office, including blogs, another great source of stories. The Internet has significantly changed journalism, sometimes for the better. Take advantage of it.