Tired of doing the same-old back-to-school stories or looking for new ways to do education stories in coming weeks? Well, readers, viewers and listeners are tired of seeing the same old storylines. So what else can you do?
The Education Writers Association, a group of journalists who want to foster better writing about education, has published a webinar on how to find new ways to do the first-day-of-school stories that are unique. Three veterans — a public radio editor and two newspaper reporters — share some good ideas. They offer audio and slides, plus resources. The first person gives general leads and ways to generate story ideas. The other two reporters give more specific story ideas for K-12.
For example, one of the first ideas offered is to consider the effect of the recession on your local school districts. “Is this the first year your schools will be without something or the first year something is coming back?” asked Phyllis Fletcher, KUOW public radio.
The webinar is an hour. But if that’s too much time, listen to what you can or listen to portions now and then.
Other great resources on this site: Check out thes Story Starters section when you come up dry for ideas. Its list of sources can be helpful for background for TV reporters or audio and quotes for radio, print and web journalists. If you need some stats or background, read up on the reports it’s issued on teacher effectiveness and school turnarounds.
Listeners and readers do want good education reporting — let’s give them something other than the routine.