Christmas newsroom lull? Here’s our tips on great Christmas stories…

Christmas can often be fairly quiet in the country’s newsrooms and many media outlets are left with a skeleton of staff whose main resources are taken up by breaking news. This presents the problem of empty space in news bulletins and papers. For this reason, over the next few days and weeks journalists will be on the lookout for stories they can film or write up and keep to their ‘Christmas Box’ to run at any point throughout the festive period.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Volunteering, Achievements and Charity Work

New Year’s resolutions coupled with cabin fever from spending too much time with the in-laws offer a perfect opportunity to run stories about volunteering projects, charity work and achievements by local heroes. From individual accomplishments, large charity projects or help with disaster relief there loads of opportunities to celebrate good deeds, enlist help or punt an upcoming challenge. Offer available case studies or opportunities to film and pre-shot footage if you have it.

  • Safety and Travel Tips

Travel over the festive period really is the nightmare before, during and after Christmas. Looks like people won’t even be able to get to and from the airports this year.  Can you offer safety or travel tips for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, how to beat the engineering works, how not to spend a fortune on a taxi? Offer fun easy top tips lists or videos.

  • Forecasts for Shopping and Spending

Whether you’re a small business association, a bank or a major retailer there are opportunities to forecast spending, footfall and shopping trends online and on the high street. Will businesses be affected by early sales, family budgets, economic growth forecasts, new transport links or engineering works for Crossrail? Can your brand be the one who predicts who’ll be buying what in 2016 or give tips on how to get the best deals? If you offer research stats most places will be able to use stock images or footage to illustrate the story.

  • Food & Drink Stories

The festive period is all about food and drink in the UK. Will the unseasonably hot weather affect crops? What will be on the shelves after Christmas? Has a local company hit the million dollar jackpot, with a new product foodies around the country are going wild for? There are also opportunities for companies to promote ‘leftovers’ stories.  How many tonnes are going to waste? Are food banks being supported? What could we be doing with our leftovers?

  • Research & Stats

Research and stat based stories might be overlooked during a busy news days, but over the festive period they can be very useful to fill up bulletins and as back-up stories in case others fall through. They’re especially helpful if they work with stock shots. Good options for stat stories could be; scientific research, teaching, transport, drinking, homelessness, the health service, tourist attractions or those good old New Year’s resolutions.

  • AWW

What journalist, alone in the newsroom at Christmas, can resist a cute abandoned kitten, puppy or pretty much any animal wearing a Christmas hat? No one!

Kirsty Malcolm – Producer

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