Ask More



Sticking with the “planning for tomorrow” theme, I thought of something that I started doing a long time ago.

Whenever I have to talk to a source on deadline, I make sure I ask them questions for other stories that I’m writing. It helps me get more things done without wasting time making additional calls to the same person. It also helps me save time.

I’m not sure when I started doing it, but I’m glad I did.

Before I call someone, I make sure to have each “topic” that I want to ask them about. I’ve gotten pretty good with knowing what to ask, with most topics, but it really helps to have all of the topics written down.

When you are in a pinch, it pays off because you are getting a lot done without wasting time. That’s the key point here.

Wasting your time is one thing, but wasting your time of a source isn’t something you want to be in the habit of doing. Sources notice things like that. Their time is just as valuable as yours. And you don’t want to be the reporter that gets under their skin.

I understand that if you ask more at once, the conversation will get longer, but, in the end, you’ll be able to start and finish more stories because you’ll, hopefully, have all of the information you need right in front of you.

Is there anything worse than when you think you have everything and you realize you are missing two key quotes or someone else’s voice? I don’t think so. Now, imagine all of that on deadline.

Asking more up front is, in many ways, the best thing you can get in the habit of doing. Once it becomes a part of your routine, you won’t even have to think about it.

From what I’ve experienced, sources like to know how many topics you’re going to “bombard” them with.

The give-and-take with a source is the way the “game” is. You have to give a little to get a little. It’s frustrating, sure, but you get used to it.

Or, at least you try to.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: