Posts Tagged ‘story ideas’

I led three workshops Thursday for the staff of the Penny Hoarder in St. Petersburg, Fla.

First I led a workshop on coming up with original story ideas. I used many of the tips in my blog post on story ideas. Here are the slides:

My next workshop dealt with interviews. I used some of the tips in these posts:

Shut up and listen

Getting personal

Interviewing advice from veteran journalists

When it’s good (and bad) to be ‘stupid’ in interviews

Tips for persuading reluctant news sources to talk

Eric Nalder’s advice on interviewing reluctant sources

‘Uh-huh’: Does it ruin audio or keep a source talking (maybe both)

Here are my slides for the interviewing workshop:

I didn’t have any slides for the third workshop, on using data to find and support stories, but I showed the data available at these sites (thanks to Tom Meagher and Maryjo Webster for steering me to some of them):

Census Reporter

American Fact Finder

Census Bureau


Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Pew Research Center

Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research

The workshop used some of the tips in my post on mining the data on your beat.




Read Full Post »

This is another blog post from the archives of No Train, No Gain, originally posted Jan. 14, 2005.

I presented a workshop this week that illustrates some lessons I have learned about how participation can be more important than content in training.

From the first, the content was strong in my workshop on generating story ideas. It was one of the first handouts I developed. I frequently got good feedback when I gave the handout to a reporter I was coaching individually or when I discussed the techniques in the handout with individual reporters. I had examples for each of the techniques discussed in the handout, too. Some were my own stories, some were stories from reporters I have worked with through the years.

I also recognized that content wasn’t enough, that I needed to involve the audience in the workshop. But my initial efforts at stimulating participation were pretty weak and I was disappointed in my first couple attempts at this workshop. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the handout for the workshop, developing story ideas, which I presented today for staff members at Gazette Communications. We discussed how to come up with good story ideas and how to develop a plan to execute them.

Every good story starts with a good idea

Story ideas are literally all around you. You need to be alert and imaginative in recognizing and pursuing them. You can generate story ideas by looking in a variety of places: (more…)

Read Full Post »