Finding stories is one of the hardest things about reporting — at least for me. So I like to gather online calendars that I can check for story leads of upcoming events.
Here’s a list I use for Syracuse, N.Y:
- City of Syracuse calendar from the city; includes gov’t meetings and more
- County Legislature calendar from county government of its meetings
- Syr Schools calendar from city schools
- Syracuse.com events calendar from local media
- New Times: Times Tables listings from alternative newspaper
- Visit Syracuse from visitor/convention bureau
- Arts Net calendar from local arts group
This list might spur your thinking about what similar calendars exist in your area. Compile them on a document with hyperlinks, or bookmark them so you can easily peruse them when your story well is dry.
Thanks to Lifehacker I just found Zapaday, which calls itself ” the world’s most comprehensive public calendar and news agenda, wiki-style.” You can follow its twitter feed @Zapaday. You can customize by topic. For example you can find:
- national holidays
- product launches
- religious events
- days since X happened
- movie releases
- sports events
and much more. You can filter by geography but I didn’t find it helpful for my fairly small city. Be sure to check out the ‘Week Ahead’ to get a jump on a story next week.