My apologies for a lack of blog posting this weekend. It seems as though Wisconsin has conspired against me and I contracted some type of food poisoning, thus I have not been out of my apartment in the last 48 hours. But, I'm doing much better now and so I have the joy of conquering my stack of homework for this week.
In addition to my typical reading, homework for this week also includes coming up with a story idea, contacting at least three sources, and writing up a 800+ word article. I really need to get a jump on it, so I've spent today getting the reading out of the way and hopefully will be able to focus on the article tomorrow and Tuesday.
This article is intended to be short news, which I am very comfortable with since that was the bulk of my duty at BioTechniques, but it has one component that makes it more difficult. The three sources in the article have to represent three different points of view, which can be difficult in a breaking science story. So, that makes choosing the topic that much more important, it has to be something very specific but that has a more general impact so that there will be more people to interview than just the bench scientists.
That being said, Marianne and I were just discussing how to find article ideas. I find press releases to be the best way to find science stories, because they can help show you stories that are important, but that occur at Universities or even in countries that are far away from where the reporter is physically located. Press releases also focus on new information, so that almost always leads to an element of timeliness, which is crucial to a breaking news story.
Although, just reading the science news from other media outlets can help inspire a story, or talking to researchers and seeing what they think are important trends in their community. I'll let you know what I decide to write about, fingers crossed a good press release won't be hard to find.