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Around the Web links about Story ideas

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 4 years 41 weeks ago

    May could be a bad weather month in Texas, and if so you'll need the resources of the Weather Channel in your reporting. The Weather Channel has all types of information that will give you perspective on local weather emergencies -- including this interactive map that will allow you to monitor weather radar for your city and county. SPJ's Journalist's Toolbox also has good weather reporting sources.

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 4 years 43 weeks ago

    You think high gas prices are hurting your bottom line? What if you had to fill up a school bus? And what if that school bus made pick-ups in rural areas and drove many miles every day? Here’s a math problem for your fifth grader: Suppose a school bus gets 8 miles per gallon and drives 50 miles a day. The gas tank holds around 60 gallons and gas costs $3.81. How much more will the district spend on that bus per week than it did when gas cost $2.50 a gallon? It’s a great word problem for a fifth grader and a great story idea for any community newspaper in a rural area where school buses drive long distances. The link shows you what a Michigan TV station did with this idea.

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 5 years 2 days ago

    Kate Galbraith, who is one of our speakers at next week’s one-day workshop on reporting on electrical energy, continues to give us a master class on the possibilities of the energy beat with her reporting in the Texas Tribune. Check out her piece, for example, on whether the blackouts will cause higher electric rates. Or her “Texplainer” story on why Texas has its own power grid. Or her stories on wind-generated energy in the state. If you follow Kate’s reporting you’ll get lots of ideas for stories that can be localized for your paper. We still also have fewer than five places open for the energy reporting workshop on Feb. 17. To register for this free workshop in Austin, click here. Also, remember that all Texas Tribune content can be used in your newspapers for free.

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 5 years 4 days ago

    Austin TV station KXAN did an investigation that community papers throughout Texas can duplicate in their districts. Check out the video of the news story, which mentions several communities in Central Texas, not just the metro Austin district. And the website includes a link to the contracts of 41 superintendents in the Austin area. The video should give you some good ideas of what to look for as you check into the benefits your superintendent and others in your area are receiving.

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 5 years 5 weeks ago

    No state gained more new congressional seats than Texas this year. The Census Bureau has begun the process of releasing information and the first data released is on the populations of the states and the percentage change in that population over the past 10 years. Check out the interactive map that tracks population change, population density and apportionment. And if you find it all confusing, check out this YouTube video on the apportionment process made by the Census Bureau. See also Al Tompkins' Poynter article about how journalists can mine census data for story ideas. You might also want to check out Investigative Reporters and Editors' 25-minute webinar to help journalists make sense of the Census. The webinar costs $5 for IRE members and $10 for non-members.

  • Shared by Tommy Thomason 5 years 11 weeks ago

    Here’s a story that’s easy to localize: The Texas Tribune has a story on the health of inmates in Texas county jails. Sheriffs say that sickness among inmates – often made worse by chronic ailments and drug or alcohol addiction – rivals the illness rates in state lockups, despite the fact that counties house only half the number of inmates. There are no state standards for health care in county jails, and illnesses can spread quickly and are expensive for jail budgets. You may find that it’s a costly and significant problem in your own county.