The Five Ws | 802 Online

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Five Ws

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 8:22 AM

Traditionally, the Five Ws refer to "Who, What, When, Where, Why." They're the five questions journalists are supposed to answer when writing a story. There's also an H — "How" — which is important, too.

Now Paul Bradshaw at the Poynter Institute has come up with a new set of questions for journalists in the age of web 2.0:

  • Who can I connect with?
  • What did the journalist read to write this?
  • Where did this happen?
  • When are events coming up that I need to be aware of?
  • Why should I care?
  • How can I make a difference?

You can read his whole post on the list here.

In theory, I think it's great when we can give as much of this information as possible, though as a matter of practical fact, it's difficult to do for every story.

I think Seven Days is doing well, for the most part, with the first two. We're embedding links in stories. We make it easy for readers to get in touch with the people or organizations we write about. And I encourage the writers to send me links to data they find on the web. Last week's article on the 2007 farm bill, for example, contained a number of links to studies and statistics that Ken and Mike cited within the story.

I wonder if it's clear to readers that that's what we're doing? I wonder how I could make it clearer?

I think we also do ok with #4 — we always put relevant date and time info in the sidebars of our stories, or at the end.

We don't do as well with #3, the mapping component, though we do some mapping. Not as much as we'd like yet, but some.

Not sure about #s 5 and 6. I think that comes across in the writing...?

Incidentally, I got this nifty list delivered to my inbox through the Poynter Online E-Media Tidbits list.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in 802 Online

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation