1 Million Story Ideas Special: Shadow Campus

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.


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.


Shadow Campus


1The Boston Globe has been named a 2014 Online Journalism Awards finalist for a riveting multimedia project that spotlights the increasingly dangerous living conditions found within the “Shadow Campus” — or the area around each college and university that is full of “houses with code violations and crammed with college students.” The shadowy landlords, decrepit (literally rat-filled) residences, student-neighbor tensions and safety concerns throughout Boston’s shadow campuses are astounding.

A few starter questions for a related report of your own: What is the state of the shadow campus near your school? Depending, what needs to be brought to light or fixed en masse? And what are students’ rights, and why are so many not speaking up about the issues they come across?




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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