Life as a student journalist: Story Ideas and Pitch Sessions


By Cindy Reves, advisor

Editors from the 2018 Pinion staff, Anela Chavez and Alexandria Buchanan lead a pitch session and offer feedback to reporters.

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Finding story ideas

Many reporters find it difficult to come up with story ideas. There are, however, many ways to find story ideas. 

There are many events happening around the world and at McKinley High School that readers worldwide may find interesting.

You can find story ideas by visiting the administration building on McKinley’s campus to check out the flyers and find out about events happening around the school. News is scattered all over the boards in the hall.

You can also find ideas online. Checking out social media and McKinley’s online daily bulletin board can give you ideas to write. I was inspired to write about the Tiger Interact Club when the daily bulletin announced that it was having a campus clean-up day. I pitched the idea and it was approved. The story ended up getting recognized on Best of SNO.

Oftentimes, people need a little help coming up with story ideas. You can be inspired by other newspapers and find ideas to write by reading journalistically. There are story ideas wherever you look. View the world as a journalist and see the newsworthy elements around you wherever you go.

Pitch Sessions

Once you have an idea, you have to get it approved. You do that through a pitch. A pitch frames your story idea as a small quest and addresses elements of newsworthiness. In McKinley’s Newswriting course, students attend pitch sessions throughout the school year. The sessions are meant to help the journalist because if the story idea is not good, the story probably won’t be good. s Ideas are discussed within one another so the staff has an idea of what to write about while having at least two or more elements of newsworthiness.

Pitch sessions also give the adviser an idea of what the staff are writing about because it is the building block of a new story.