Covid-19 will continue to be the most talked-about global health issue for some time to come. Since its emergence at the start of the year, droves of stories have been published hourly about the pandemic and what it means for humanity at large. But unfortunately, many of these daily news angles are identical.
The big-picture reporting we see often doesn’t have any sort of relevance to individual citizens and communities. It doesn’t answer key questions like: What can I do in my neighborhood? How should this affect my daily routine? If it’s not affecting me directly, should I even keep following this particular story’s advice?
As journalists, instead of simply reporting daily global infection numbers and speculating on national trends, it should also be our job to get down on the micro-level and seek out lesser-known stories that offer relatability to the individual.
News editors, in particular, have a responsibility to bring fresh perspectives to the table. Take a look at some tips below to help uncover important niche news angles related to Covid-19.
Look for hidden voices on social media
News outlets routinely monitor viral posts on social media. If you want to take a more unique approach, try finding hidden stories on social media.
In our experience, Twitter is definitely the right place to start. We suggest following social media accounts of medical professionals, experts, and people with first-hand experience. Often, they will share opinions, advice, and unique stories on their feed, from which you can follow up, interview, and craft a more complete human-interest piece.
Human-focused stories are more relatable to readers than complex statistics. Some ideas you can dig into include uncovering how families are taking care of mild-symptom patients at home without infecting themselves. Or maybe you can highlight how doctors are keeping morale up in the workplace, even though they’re dealing head-on with the daily loss of human life.
Take a peek at Google Trends
Google Trends can be helpful. In the context of Covid-19, Google launched a specific page that displays surging questions and searches related to the virus. By knowing these trending questions, you can provide answers that truly matter to your audience on an individual level. This is in line with the media’s duty to make sure folks get a clear idea of recent developments in their cities and neighborhoods.
On that page, you will also find information about which geographic areas the searches are coming from, rising keywords, comparisons between searches in different countries, and more. Take advantage of this free tool to develop an editorial plan that makes sense.
Go as local as possible
International news outlets compare conditions and various government actions toward battling the virus. However, in times like this, many would rather turn to their local news outlets to gain applicable insights. This is the information that will directly impact their daily lives. They need to know what to do and how local regulations will be enforced.
You might want to reach out to freelance journalists residing in certain nearby communities. Not only can they carry out interviews with affected people, but it’s also easier to leverage their pre-existing access to local government officials.
Another way to find niche news angles is by collaborating with a roster of freelance journalists and simply accepting their story pitches. As practitioners with different perspectives and know-how, they will have ideas and news angles that you as an editor might not have, nor be able to see.
If you need a hand assembling the best freelance journalists for a particular news angle, a sure-fire platform like ContentGrow can help. Via the app, you can receive a hand-picked list of project-appropriate professional freelance journalists, ready to pitch daily and file stories at a fair price.
Save time and money when producing high-quality journalism content. ContentGrow helps editorial teams work with perfectly-matched freelance writers and journalists at preferred rates. Fill out the form below to get your own shortlist of talent or visit the site to get started.