1 Million Story Ideas Special: Class Confessions

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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Class Confessions

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1The anonymous college confessions craze — built atop Tumblr blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds sharing students’ romantic longings, darkest secrets, meanest putdowns and most embarrassing moments — is increasingly discussing economic worries and disparities as well. These campus-specific class confessions pages mainly present student views on how their undergrad experiences are shaped at least in part by their financial statuses and the relative size of their school bills, loans or scholarships.

As a Northwestern University student shares on NU Class Confessions, “The real reason I know I have to get a job in a field I despise is because in 10 years, my little sister will need financial help to go to college and my parents won’t be able to afford it, after putting four other kids through college. I can’t do that on a teacher’s salary.”

Join in this growing socioeconomic discussion. Start a class confessions page on your campus. And explore the guilt and alienation some students feel from their peers not only due to their economic hardships but also because of their wealth.

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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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