Ask Why


It’s a journalists job to ask why something happened. Not because it’s one of the “Five Ws,” but because it’s essential to each and every story.

You can’t be afraid, even in your daily life, to ask why. It goes back to being curious and getting to the bottom of whatever it is that is going on.

Things happen for a reason. You should never settle for anything like “that’s the ways we’ve always done things.” There has to be a reason behind everything that’s done, right?

It’s okay to challenge sources to get the real answers.

I’ve done it numerous times. You have to get the story done.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a mayor, council member or a school board chair because they all, usually, know what information you are looking for. They know you have a job to do, but they don’t always make your job any easier.

Sometimes sources just need a bit more prodding than usual, which is fine. This is what we are paid to do.

“Why” is integral to the story. Without finding out why, there is a huge hole in the story. Of course, we don’t always know why things happen. That’s why we ask anyway.

Even if people don’t know why something happened, it’s good to get that reaction from sources. That part of the story will be “missing,” but it’ll have a much smaller void in its place.



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