28 Days of Story Ideas, #9: Clooney, Damon & Campus Pranks

Today, let’s engage in some tomfoolery and prank-tastic reportorial work. It’s a wintry Sunday, after all. And we can even call our editorial antics Clooney-esque.

In a recent interview promoting “The Monuments Men,” the A-lister admitted to a mini-caper after the Golden Globes. In a roundabout method of obtaining revenge on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for their monologue quip about his propensity for dating younger women, he sent them a note pretending to be Matt Damon.  On faux stationary sporting Damon’s name, he feigned hurt over a separate joke they had made during the show about Matt. The end result: a pair of large fruit baskets and a ‘sorry but hey take a joke’ response from Fey and Poehler delivered to a very confused Damon.

In honor of Clooney’s high jinks, dive into the pranks played out by your student peers. What are the more memorable practical jokes or general mischief they have carried out against their roommates, classmates, teammates, frat brothers, sorority sisters or profs? And how about incidents in which they have been the victims — either while in school or during their childhood days?

Separately, investigate the more traditional mischief-making on campus — including the annual events that might occur during orientation, finals week, pre-commencement night, athletic pre-seasons or the Greek rush period. In a related sense, are there any students, faculty, staff, teams or organizations on campus known for being especially prone to pranking? And have there been any more serious or elaborate incidents such as those involving academic dishonesty, data breaches or revenge porn?

5For more ideas, check out 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists, a quick-hit, unending, hopefully indispensable, fun, fun, fun digital story ideas fountain.

Also order a copy of my book Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing, and Selling Stories in the Digital Age. Dubbed “the next new mandatory text for college journalists,” it features advice from hundreds of contributors, lots of digital storytelling tips, tons of story ideas and more than 300 games aimed at sparking you to come up with endless ideas of your own.




1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists

28 Days of Story Ideas, #1: Beyonce, Jay-Z & ‘Celebrity Courses’

28 Days of Story Ideas, #2: Super Bowl Commercials & College Ad Campaigns

28 Days of Story Ideas, #3: Groundhog Day & the College Routine

28 Days of Story Ideas, #4: A Postal Holiday & Some Campus Mail Fun

28 Days of Story Ideas, #5: ‘Saturday Night Live’ & the Party AFTER the Party

28 Days of Story Ideas, #6: Reporting on Your Campus Like It’s a Foreign Country

28 Days of Story Ideas, #7: The Sochi Olympics, Campus Security & LGBTQ Rights

28 Days of Story Ideas, #8: The Sochi Olympics, Stray Animals & Humans vs. Zombies

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