1 Million Story Ideas Special: Super Bowl Rings, Cheerleader Uniforms & Other NFL Inspiration

Over the past decade, digital tools and mobile platforms have rocketed journalism to a universe of innovation, interactivity and immediacy once unimaginable. Yet, without stellar content, journalism 2.0 is not worth the effort to read, watch, click on, scroll through, contribute to or connect with. Everything journalism was, is and will be rests on our ability to tell a story. And every story starts with an idea.

So let’s brainstorm.

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To help get you started, I have set up and regularly update the special page 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists on my blog College Media Matters. It is aimed at inspiring student journalists to localize, adapt and reinvent a range of stories — quirky and mainstream, text-based and visual, interactive and investigatory.

Here is one example.

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Artifacts of Particular Signifance

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The next time you dive into a reporting project involving the history of your school, a campus organization or even someone’s life, skip the chronological rundown. Instead, focus on related stuff. For a special 95-part (?!) report commemorating the NFL’s 95th birthday, the blog Monday Morning Quarterback (affiliated with Sports Illustrated) is publishing a series of posts — each one focused on “an artifact of particular significance to the history of the NFL, accompanied by other objects that trace the rise of professional football in America.”

Among the items featured so far in “NFL 95: A History of Pro Football in 95 Objects”: the Gatorade bucket, the first helmet radio, the video replay monitor, the pen that ended the 2011 lockout and a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader uniform.

The key, of course, with this type of feature is using the selected objects as mere jumping-off points for much more in-depth looks at related issues, trends, individuals or events.

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For 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.

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