May 7, 2007

After College then what?

I want to write a story about what kids do after college. I want to get at the basic questions, that I'm worried about right now. How long after graduation til you found a job? Where do you live at home/by yourself? Are you married yet? Do you have a mortgage or car payments? Did the degree actually help? Did you take out loans or have it paid for you? How many years did it take you to graduate?

I think this would be an interesting story for the Daily at least because it would be interesting for undergraduates to see what their future might look like.

Sources: all my friends who have graduated.

Bobby Quigley: 612-860-3858
Anna Peterson: 612-414-0340
Ben Koski: 608-385-3926

Metropolitan Council budget

In researching my feature story I came across an interesting fact. It was in this book about smart growth and urban transit. It said that the Met council in the Twin Cities controlled half of the federal transit budget, despite only providing transit options to 5 percent of the population. Granted this was a few years ago so I'm not sure about the number today. I'd like to talk to the Metropolitan Council and find out how they have control over so much money. This is newsworthy because there is a move right now to boost the gas tax to provide more money for construction projects. Do they need to boost the gas tax because the Met Council has control over too much money?

sources: Metropolitan Council - 651-602-1140
Bonnie Kollodge Media Relations Coordinator 651-602-1357

Why isn't Soccer more popular?

I enjoy soccer very much, why not the rest of the country. I live next to one of the largest soccer complexes in the region, the National Sports Center. But the fields are usually empty. Its a sport that many people play in their youth, but then sort of give up on later.

To report this story I would start with the fans, find some people playing soccer and interview them. Then I would go to a Twins game and wait outside and try to interview people after the game. I would ask them if they would consider going to a Soccer game. I would do try to get a perspective from different fans, baseball, hockey, football, basketball and golf, etc. Also I would try to get an international twist as well, perhaps interview some overseas fans or officials on the sport.

Sources: Random Fans
Amos Magee coach of the Minnesota Thunder soccer team - 651-917-8326
Francisco Marcos President of the United Soccer League - 813-963-3909 ext. 225

Open records

Since our talk about open records and the trials of getting them, I've been curious as to why Government agencies are so cautious and guarded about their records. Open records are completely open to the public, hence the name. So why the hassle?

I guess my story idea is to go out and ask the people responsible for providing open records. First I would ask them if they are familiar with the law. Then I would ask them if they have ever unintenationally hassled someone. That line of questioning might not work. Perhaps I would just go in and ask for records and then try to interview the people that gave me a hard time. This type of reporting would require a lot of effort to gain the trust of these people. I mean they are already guarded about giving away public records so getting them to talk to me would take some work.

Sources: Government Agencies across the state.

April 2, 2007

Meth Use Decline

A story was recently reported by KARE 11 that meth use is in decline, the first source they cite is the drug counselor at the high school I graduated from, Spring Lake Park high school. My brother is currently a sophomore there. I'm proposing a kind of man on the street story, where my brother short of going undercover, gives the dirt on whether this story is close to the truth or not. Are kids using less meth, or are they better at hiding it? Also how easy is it to find the drug? Are any of his friends using?

Robert Nelson 763-232-7096
Deborah Mosby (drug counselor cited in story) 763.785.5547, ext. 5620
Joan Dauphinee (eccentric health teacher) 763-786-5571