1 Million Story Ideas Special: Mid-College Crisis

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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Mid-College Crisis

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1At the end of this past spring semester, Seton Hall University student Samantha Giedris grappled with a common undergraduate affliction that doesn’t arrive with a medical diagnosis or even have a formal name. Giedris, a journalism major from Woodlands, Texas, calls it, simply, “the mid-college crisis.”

As she explains, “Basically, it’s a realization around the middle of someone’s college experience that their time is almost up. This realization causes them to reflect on missed opportunities and try, possibly too hard, to make up for lost time at any cost. This crisis is such an impacting event for students because our time in college is short and there is constant pressure to do as many things as possible in what are supposed to be ‘the best four years of our lives.’ So when it’s clear that half of that time is done, it’s easy to look back and get stressed out by all the missed opportunities.”

Report on the mid-college crises experienced by your fellow students. Diagnose the external symptoms involved. Document the related internal confusion weighing them down. And catalog the activities, events, classes, clubs and trips students should engage in both before and after their collegiate midpoint.

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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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