Switching Story Ideas … What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

I knew I had to shoot my story on Tuesday, so I began to think of story ideas and I thought of the biggest decision recently made by the Columbia City Council. That decision dealt with the Regency Hotel in downtown Columbia.The story I was going to shoot was how local businesses in the downtown area think their business would change with a different demographic downtown. The demographic change would occur because the new hotel, being put on the property where the Regency Hotel stands, is going to be a lot better maintained. Overall, the new hotel will just be plain nicer. And because of this, demand will rise–which will lead to a rise in price. The story was all ready to start, but as I walked in my suit with the equipment, from the J-School to downtown Columbia, I thought of a new and improved story to shoot.

And that is the beginning of the story of how I got my story idea that I got cleared to go to officially work at KOMU.

I thought I should switch the story to something that would want to make people watch. The average person doesn’t care. So I remembered that there was a small restaurant that shared the building with the Regency Hotel, the Thai Kitchen. I figured it would have a reaction to the City Council’s decision because the building in question is its home.

Well, I walked over there and spoke with the owner and employees, hearing their response. They had a story. A story that people could understand and connect to. The story ended up being easy to humanize because they spoke to me with no problem. The owner became emotional because this gave her a moment to think and verbalize everything that was going on in the situation of the hotel, with regards to the Thai Kitchen.

The story taught me that even when you have a story idea, keep thinking. You never know when you are going to run into or walk right past a superior idea. Also, I have learned that you cannot be scared to ask questions. If you do your homework and research, you can’t be afraid to ask a question broadly. People talk a lot, and if you give them an open-ended question to discuss an issue, they happily will. You always have to know limits and boundaries, but you can’t be afraid to ask your interviewee anything. What’s the worst that could happen?


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