chapter  5
22 Pages

Generating Fresh Story Ideas

ByMatthew Ricketson, Caroline Graham

Story ideas are everywhere—in issues, trends, conversations and observations—but the process of finding them is an active one. It requires looking around with a curious and critical eye, engaging with readers' life, their community, the news, pop culture and the people around them. Leaving aside dark theories about journalists conspiring on how stories might or might not be run, the swift-running river of news imposes a measure of pack behaviour. News issues arise and are replaced by a new story, normally within a week. This chapter discusses some of the favourite overlooked sources of story ideas. A hardy perennial story is the annual piece about high-achieving year twelve students (seniors) while curriculum authorities never fail to point out that a school exit score is not the be-all and end-all.