Mar 1, 2006

Call For Story Ideas

(Toledo, OH) As a writer one of the hidden benefits of having a Web presence is the ability to interact with readers. As a print journalist, interaction is usually limited to letters to the editor or the occasional phone call.

In the blogosphere the interactivity is much more frequent and occurs immediately. If I write something that is off the mark, or if I have forgotten an important angle to a story, one glance at the comments section is all it takes for a dose of necessary humility.

I am desirous, though, to also get feedback about what stories you think should get more coverage that are being ignored by this blog, as well as mainstream media in general.

Feel free to post story ideas in the comments section, or email me if the idea is of a confidential / breaking news variety.


Anonymous said...

What about the Steam plant project that Ford gave to Jimmy Jackson but nothing is happening on?

historymike said...

I don't know that the steam plant is being ignored so much as Ball and Jackson are waiting on federal monies to come in for the project.

I do think that the deal itself didn't get as much attention as it could have. While it seemed to stay within the law, there was also an element of favoritism involved.

Stephanie said...

What's your take on the Bush visit to India?

historymike said...

It seems like an odd time for Bush to go to India, although I applaud him for being one of the first presidents to recognize the growing economic power of this 1 billion person nation.

It certainly will help our relations with India, although it might be a way to hedge our bets if Musharraf gets the boot in Pakistan and gets replacd with an Iran-style mullah-ocracy.

-Sepp said...

The first thing that came to mind was the jackson-Ball steamplant deal but, I was beat to the punch by anon. I think the entire shady deal was ignored by the blade's selective reporting. My questions have always been why Ford gave this valuable riverfront real estate away plus 300 grand in city money when there was an offer to BUY the property all while the city was in financial dire straits. Why was little mention given to the fact that Jackson and Ball were campaign donors to Ford? That fact alone reeks of the same ilk as Bob McCloskey's style of politics. And, it is a bit strange that Ford was over 300 grand ahead of Carty in his election war chest. How much of that money may have found it's way back from the Jackson-Ball 300 thousand dollar bonus for taking the property? When the day came for the citizens to give input into the Jackson-Ball selection, why were they forced to wait over 4 hours (while most had to leave to work or attend their families) to be heard. And the people who did stay and speak, gave ZERO support to Ford's decision. It would be nice if someone with press credentials would dig into all this and see what comes to the surface. I doubt that McCloskey is the only politician in this town with his hands getting dirty.

Calico Jack said...

Here are a few story ideas that occurred to me while I was drinking:


Law Enforcement: How do civilians make a complaint about a law enforcement officer? How many are made each year? How long does it take to complete the entire process, start to finish? What is the average response time for a unit to respond to a call? How does a civic minded civilian report a crime without becoming involved? How many detectives does each police department have? How long does it take to solve a crime? Why are the police against citizens bearing arms?

Order: If you’re arrested, what are the critical things you need to know to defend yourself from prosecution? How good is your public defender? Do you have a choice in lawyers? How are parolees handled, and what is being done to reduce the rate of recidivism? What can be done to retrieve property that the police have confiscated?

Mental Illness

How do police handle the mentally ill? Do any of them have special training for handling the mentally ill, or do they just get tasered along with the rest of us? Do people ever get railroaded into a mental hospital and held against their will? We have a State mental hospital here in Toledo. Carty ran it for a while. Is it over populated? How many doctors does it have, and how often do the doctors see patients? What’s the recovery rate? Is there abuse of patients by staff, and if so how is the abuse dealt with?

Political Conflict of Interest

Interview the politicians in and around Toledo (Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Ottawa Hills, etc.) What do they do for a living, why do they serve in the government. I’d like to see special interest paid to developers and the various zoning boards.

Stephanie said...

I know next to nothing about Musharraf, so I couldn't say.

On-line colleges and accreditation? That might be an interesting piece from you, seeing how you do have a hand in a college. (At least, so I'm assuming from what you've previously written.)

historymike said...

Wow, great topic, Stephanie!

And one that hits close to home, having both taken and taught online courses.

historymike said...

Great ideas, calico jack.

They sound like areas that have not been explored in depth locally, only tangentially as they relate to specific cases.

Thanks so much for the ideas!

-Sepp said...

HM, how about some investigation into what really happened to the blog "the mental block". The last thing I had heard was that a crony from the blade was responsible for for the site's demise. The reporting on that blog was outstanding to say the least.

Stephanie said...


I'm about applying to a college that will be based on-line (though they do have actual campuses as well), so that's why I thought of it. I've known some people who've chosen to go to "easy" schools, that were poorly accredited and have found their "degrees" not very marketable. They then say all on-line degree programs are bad, which isn't true.