You can use funny things, sad things, tragic, and good things as inspiration for your stories. Maybe the story of a kidnapped victim inspires the ending or the beginning of your story. The news can help you with a current project or with an entirely new story.
Take a night and watch the local news and a national news station. In fact, watch one that is conservative and one that is liberal. Just sit back and let your muse absorb what they say. You’ll be surprised what ideas you’d come up with.
As with anything, don’t let the delivery method or stance of the reporter sway you. Ask yourself what if to everything. I was watching a very sad story of a city riot. As I listened to the reporter and commentators and then switched channels to another story I wondered if they could be tied in. Then my muse come up with a story in which there was a connection that was hidden from the public eye. See how it works?
What if the speculations were true? What if they weren’t and a deeper secret was there? What if a romance came out of it? A great true story I saw on the news was how the first responder to a scene where a man had stabbed his ex-girlfriend multiple times. She was left to die. A few years later, the first responder and the victim were married. Who would have thought of that? A wonderful romance out of a tragedy.
Let your imagination run wild. No limits!