Watching Cloo and awaiting the clueless

I kind of love this time of year.

Finding stories on campus is easy if you have “Spencer Vision.”

Leaves changing? No. I love when I give students a “story ideas” assignment and they come back, shall we say, in a lame manner.

“Nothing is going on.”

My ass. Don’t make me take you on “The Walk.”  When confronted with a blank budget sheet, editors would ask me for help.

I’d say, “Let’s walk.”

“Shit,” was usually the reply.

We’d walk the campus. And by the time we got back to the newsroom, the budget was full.  How?

GOYAKOD. Get Off Your Ass, Knock On Doors. “The Walk” always works.

Just ask Jessica MacIntosh, copy editor at the Utica Observer Dispatch; or Alexandra Nicolas, visual journalist and web producer at The Joplin Globe. “The Walk” is to be avoided. Humiliation usually ensues.

Another Hanrahan rule:

There is always something going on. You just haven’t found it yet.

You have to be newsdom’s Shawn Spencer from Psych. You have to see things in a way others don’t. And when you develop the skill, it becomes second nature.

But, T.R., you make it sound simple. Where is the real example?

O.K., this is Missouri Western specific, but apply it to your campus.

Let’s go buy a bagel at Einstein Bros. two buildings away. On our way to class, let’s get a Diet Dr. Pepper from the vending machine in the hallway outside the classroom.

Story.

Those companies — Einstein Bros. and the soda vendor — have contracts with the university. And they are — wait for it — public records. Available to you upon request.

How much does the university make? Spend? How are the vendors/franchises on campus selected/retained/changed?

Story.

And all we did was get a bagel and a soda.

C’mon, gang. Get a Cloo.

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