magazine article ideas needed!

  1. hey y'all! i've mentioned before that i'm a magazine journalism major, and i need your help for my advanced magazine writing class. i've got to turn in an idea for a feature-length (1-2 thousand words) article tomorrow morning, and i'm kinda low on ideas. the one i have that i like the best is about the dangers of "keeping up with the joneses."

    the only rules are that i need to be able to do face-to-face interviews for it, so i need to be able to interview any experts, etc. in Atlanta. it can be more any kind of publication and on absolutely any subject.

    any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated!
  2. i think your idea is really good, but not really sure how that would go in terms of interviews, etc. (would it be talking to two families in athens, or wherever, and see how they keep up? or maybe two separate cities, with two different vibes...and how that affects them?). i don't know.

    would there be something that is going on around campus that you could talk about? i know a big issue on our campus is the current influx of "street preachers", who are basically yelling at us all day as we walk past them (telling women with low cut shirts that they deserved to be raped or saynig that we are all going to hell because we are taking "ungodly" bs stuff to tick people off). i always thought that was interesting, especially since this is the Bible Belt...and how the evangelicals are becoming more prominent. (but maybe that's just me. :p)

    i'm AWFUL at doing my own proposals, let alone for other people! good luck though!
  3. i'm trying to stay away from local issues since a lot of people in my class are doing that - it seems like sort of taking the easy way out to me, i want something that i can pitch to a national magazine.

    the way i see the article, it wouldn't so much be about the stories of individuals, but more about the overall trend. since i go to a large research university, i'm sure several professors on campus have things to say about the issue and expert interviews would be easy to get (and also fulfill the in-person requirement). i'd probably just need the personal story of one person to create the story arc to talk about the subject in general, and i think i could find at least one person willing to talk. i don't think i'd need a comparative element.

    that's interesting that you mention the on-campus preachers at your school, though, that's a problem we've had here since i started. i don't think it's so much a southern thing, they aren't southern baptists or anything. the plaza outside our student center is a designated public forum, and we have all sorts of groups sign up to use the space, and since it's a public forum, we cannot turn people away based on the content of their presentations. we call our guy the "Tate preacher" because it's the Tate Student Center, and we see him about once every month or two. he's got a huge sign and everyone ignores him except freshman that don't know any better....i wonder if it's the same guy, lol.
  4. alright, so the interviews are just to reinforce what you're talking about in the article, right? so, say you do the dangers of "keeping up with the joneses"- you would name xyz dangers and here is bob and sue and why xyz was dangerous for them. i think, if that's the idea you do, it would be interesting to find a chain reaction type situations (got into debt, credit score lowered, couldn't get our dream house, blah blah blah...kwim?)

    and i wouldn't be surprised if it's the same guy, lol. everytime time he's out there, the campus police are close by because people always threaten to hit him, lol. it's actually quite funny to see people get so upset. and the freshman always try to debate with him- everyone else just knows better!
  5. the types of things that i was thinking of talking about were why people feel compelled to keep up in the first place, what kind of actions they take to keep up, how it then affects their marriages, self esteem, life goals, their kids, etc. also, probably some advice on how to break the cycle or warning signs that you might be headed down that path. the interviews would be mostly with experts (most credible publications won't take articles that dont have a strong foundation in hard facts) with maybe one or two with families or individuals to make the ideas therein personal. it's a tactic that Newsweek uses a lot and i particularly like.

    come to think of it, i haven't seen the Tate preacher recently...maybe he wore out his market here and moved on to your school? we get one that roams around campus during home football games, too, while everyone is outside boozing and tailgating. he mostly just carries his sign, though, he doesn't do a whole lot of yelling.
  6. But having others do your homework for you isn't? :confused1:
  7. looks like someone's never taken a journalism class in their entire life.

    i could define journalism for you and explain why talking to people about what seems like news to them is basically step one in the journalistic process, but if you can't surmise that yourself, it probably wouldn't help you.

    i'd also highly recommend keeping the rude comments in check next time.
  8. The Greek system is really big in Georgia, isn't it?

    You could do something on that. I'm SURE there's huge competition over who gets into what house.

    Interview a pledge and her parents, if that's possible. (To make it more interesting, interview two different houses.)