Update: Lots of people are finding this post through Google searches for “the 5 W’s.” If you’re interested in something on the 5 W’s of journalism, you might try my post, The 5 W’s (and How) of writing for the Web.
Jay Rosen wrote a thoughtful blog post, What I think I know about journalism, that summarized succinctly many things Jay has been writing and saying about journalism into four clear principles. He inspired me to do the same with my thoughts about the news business. So this is what I think I know about the business of journalism.
Every journalist learned quickly in our first journalism class or newsroom lesson about the “5 W’s“: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? (How gets lumped in with the 5 W’s like Penn State in the Big Ten, a joke I’ll have to modify or abandon soon.) We have to answer those questions (some of them multiple times) in every story, or the story is somehow inadequate. The same questions are essential to survival and prosperity in the business of journalism: (more…)