With schools closing in the UK as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to escalate, it is important that you look at where you are going to find those last two articles to complete the Young Reporter scheme, especially if the whole country is on lock down.
One of the best places to find ideas is your social media feeds – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. See what your contact are posting about and ask them whether you can write an article about it. Get some quotes from them. As journalists, these are the best sources of stories for us.
In addition to this, you only have to type in something to google, ie. Mobile hairdresser, dog walker and a list will come up close to you. These people will love the publicity especially in a time when businesses are struggling. Some other ideas are:
Spring planting – whilst this might seem the most boring subject in the world, your parents and grandparents may not agree. This has been the worst winter for rain in years with torrential downpours day after day and a real challenge for gardeners, so if you have a keen gardener in the family interview them.
Working from home – thousands of people have taken to working from home since the Coronavirus has struck the UK so find out how they are dealing with it, what impact it has on their productivity, do they feel cut off from the working world.
Teachers – all of you working from home will be in contact with your teacher. Ask them whether you can interview them about their career and how they feel about home schooling.
Head boys and girls – interview them. They will love the publicity.
Veterinary Practices – find out whether they have been affected by the virus.
Isolation – most of you will have grandparents so interview them find out how they feel about the Coronavirus, if they are housebound, see what this means to them, how will they get their shopping, walk their dogs, etc.
Online shopping – how people are coping with doing this. Are they online shopping to avoid supermarket crowds or are they still braving the outside?
School productions – some of you will have been involved with school productions over the past few months. Write about it.
Visitors to your school – if a visitor came in to talk to you, then find out about them. Speak to your school friends and ask them their thoughts on the talk.
School events – During this term there will have been events at your school. You may not have been involved with this event but you can find out what happened and speak to someone who was involved.
Businesses – ring a local business and ask whether you can speak to someone about the impact on their business with the Coronavirus. Are most of their staff working from home, what steps are they taking to ensure that the business survives, etc.
Local shops and one-man bands – what are they doing to survive in this climate of uncertainty?
Estate Agents – are they selling any houses, what is the rental market like, how are people going to pay rent if they lose their jobs? Speak to the one man bands not necessarily the big chains as they will be the worst affected.
NHS workers – some of you may have family members who are working in the medical field. Have a chat with them and find out the impact on them.
Care Homes – what are they putting in place to combat the risk of infection?
School closure – if your school or a sibling or friend’s school has closed, what impact is this having on them. How are they organising their days in order to keep on top of the workload?
Dog walkers – are they managing to get out and exercise their dogs? Are there many people in their park or on the streets, are they concerned that their pet may contract the virus, how will they look after their pet if they fall ill?
Local clubs – ring them and find out if they are closing. See how the closure is going to affect them. If you know someone who attends, then ask them how they feel about the closure, what they will do with the time they would have spent at the club.
Independent health clubs – look for small clubs not the large ones as it is the small independents that are going to be affected by this badly. We are very much a nation of keep fit and a lot of people are going to be devastated that their local health club is closing its doors.
Travel agents – what is their immediate plan for the future?
Films – whilst cinemas are shut there are plenty of films on TV that you can review. Watch one that you wouldn’t normally consider and write up about it. Research the actors in it and find out snippets of what they have done and what they are doing now.
Small online businesses - there are thousands of small businesses that operate online. A lot of them will love the idea of free publicity so give them a call.
Actors – do some research about someone you find interesting and write an article about them. Get some quotes from friends and family on what they think about them.
Local amateur dramatic groups – speak to the chairman or president. Are they still meeting up, has their latest production been cancelled?
29thFebruary – only happens every four years. Find out the origin?
Friends – all of you will have friends who may have done something out of the ordinary i.e. run 5K, Santa Fun Run, sponsored walk, etc. Interview them and find out about their training, etc.
There are lots of things you can write about if you use some imagination. The weather is now beginning to improve and we are seeing some sunshine amidst the rain; the mornings and evenings are getting lighter and spring is definitely in the air.