How to Find a Glocal Story in 5 Minutes
(And Write it Up in 10)

1. Everybody’s got one story in them – the one you’ve wanted forever to see in the newspaper or on TV but never have. You’ve been collecting data on this story mentally for a long time. Anecdotes, statistics, maybe even a quote. What’s the story you’ve been burning to tell? Now is your chance.

2. Find an injustice occurring in a foreign country that you know from experience is affecting an ethnic population in Minnesota. What is that injustice? Describe it simply and directly in two or three paragraphs, including its impact here.

3. Write about a major social issue in the U.S. from an international perspective. Perhaps euthanasia, universal health care, U.S. foreign policy, the Wal-Mart debate, or some other issue. If you are an immigrant, that won’t be hard to do, just write about the issue as people in your home country would analyze it. If you are not an immigrant, draw perhaps on overseas travel or an overseas living experience you had, or your reading.

4. Write from your area of expertise. Whether it is software design, shoemaking, medicine, urban planning, or simply having lived in a foreign country, chances are you feel the media never gets this subject right. What is an important story in your area of expertise the media never gets right or has missed altogether? Write the first few paragraphs of a story in which for once the media gets it right, because you write it yourself.

5. Turn to the person next to you and ask him the questions above. Instead of writing a story out of your head, interview your neighbor and write the story based on the interview.

6. Turn to the person next to you and ask if that person either A) was born in another country and immigrated to the U.S., or B) has spent significant time traveling in, or living in, another country. If the person has a dramatic story to tell, such as the story of how the person came to the U.S., take notes and write it up as if you were writing a letter home to a friend.

7. If you are an immigrant to the U.S., write about you’re your immigrant experience. If there is one overriding feeling or belief you’ve formed about the United States, or some particular part of it, as a result of your experience, what is it? Are struck for example not by how rich Americans are but how lonely they are? If you can find a theme like that, write a short essay telling some stories from your experience that illustrate that theme.

Copyright @ 2005 The McGill Report