URN News Digest Vol 009: Christmas Season News Story Ideas

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Christmas and New Year holidays are one of the drought news seasons of the year, because for most news rooms, the news makers head for holidays. But for active reporters, the news clock does not stop ticking. Below are some of the story ideas that you could pick up and plough into your reporting to keep the holiday season alive and not dead. Get your creative news juices flowing this holiday!

Business

  • Find out the gloom and doom stories about general prices of basic commodities over the festive season?
  • Describe the mood of Christmas shoppers this season?
  • How do hotels plan to reap some money over the Christmas season? Any special packages?
  • Find out if there are any specific outstanding sales and promotions? And on what products and why?
  • Are abattoirs planning to stock up the number of animals they will slaughter for Christmas? At what cost? Find out the actions being taken to protect cows from thefts?
  • Visit a poultry farm in your area and find out what the farmers are doing to prepare for the Christmas sales.

Travel

  • Visit the taxi and bus parks. Are we seeing crowded taxi and bus parks? Price readjustments in transport fares?
  • What should passengers brace up for? What are transport companies doing to make sure that all passengers are served to satisfaction? Are the numbers of early holiday travellers increasing? check out the regional buses too.
  • Any security checks at the bus and taxi parks?
  • What about air travel? What are the trends this Christmas season? What are the specific airlines offering their fliers?
  • Can we find an expert to give us tips for safe travel over the festive season? We should not assume that everyone knows what to do?

Labour

  • Everybody would love to go home for Christmas and for the labour industry, such holiday’s impact on the delivery of basic services?
  • Profile the story of people that will be working on Christmas and boxing day- The long distance drivers, nurses, restaurateurs, a plumber and shopkeeper.

Emergencies and public safety
Christmas can create busy times for emergency rooms, from people overeating to food poisoning and accidents. Find out what emergency interventions are being put in place by the police and hospitals in your respective areas?

  • Will the Fire Stations remain open for emergency response? How are the causality wards being organized to handle emergencies?
  • Talk to the Red Cross society and find out their response strategy if any over the Christmas period? If there is non that is a story too…
  • How are hospitals ensuring an uninterrupted flow of services?
  • Number of robberies and thefts are bound to increase this season. Find out from the police the local trends and advice on how people should protect themselves from robbers?

Human Interest Stories

  • Can we get a story of a street child’s hopes for Christmas?
  • Can we spend a day with a homeless person on the December 24th. Wake up with them, find out what they will be thinking about on the 24th is it money? Food? Clothings? Handouts? Etc that they will be thinking about? Walk with them and get as much sound as you can.
  • file a story on a “Christmas Eve in the life of the homeless persons,”
  • Are there any organizations planning to provide food for the poor? Find out what it will cost them this year to fulfil this year? Talk to two or three people.
  • How is the current economic meltdown going to affect Christmas gift giving this year?
  • Visit the National and Local theatres and find out what is on offer this Christmas season?
  • Visit the churches and find out how the local choir are preparing? What new songs? Initiatives? Dramas …
  • Ask the bishops, priests, reverends about their Christmas homily messages and write short advance stories.

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