After a year of covering all sorts of local news, December can be kinda lame in newsrooms as staff begins to look forward to time off and the story ideas in the morning meeting dry up.

NPR has a great article on how to keep your newscasts from becoming as stale as a year old candy cane.

NPR says ’Tis the season to stop using “ ’tis the season” to start the consumer-oriented stories that glut the internet between Halloween and New Year’s! Few local or regional outlets are spared the annual toy safetyholiday travel or charity round-up piece: not the NBC affiliate, not the newspaper of record, not the public radio station.

Here are some other things you should stop (and start) doing, in the classically bossy “do this/not that” format, as you embark on your regularly scheduled “where to get a pre-cooked Thanksgiving turkey” listicle. Because if you have to do it, why not do it well?

Do this: Find a new angle on a well-worn topic.
Not that: Write the same story as last year — see the next tip.

Look for a hook, local or national. A report of a recent conflagration can sit atop the standard fire safety content at a fresh URL (like so). The latest local James Beard Award winner probably has thoughts on whether boxed stuffing counts as food. And you can make anything into a gift-guide theme. Like Brexit. Or impeachment.

You can find the entire list of story ideas here.

More News from Thursday, December 5, 2019