Tabacco: Until I just looked it up, I had no idea there was such a thing as a “Who, What, When, Where, Why & How Organizer”! But I have been blogging since 2005 using this Premise!
There are even courses and texts for this Journalistic Essential. That I already knew!
Welcome to the web site for Journalism: Who, What, When, Where Why and How, an introductory text to the field of journalism by James Glen Stovall.
Journalism is an important, exciting, and dynamic field. The book introduces students to a broad range of topics from the nature of news and the culture of professional journalism to the future of the field and the prospects for those who wish to enter it.
Journalists tell us about ourselves.
In doing so, they perform a role that is not just important but vital for our society. The information they provide gives us context for our personal world and a connection to a larger environment. That information helps us make decisions, from the mundane (whether or not to carry an umbrella because of the threat of rain) to the cosmic (where to get an education, what career to choose). None of these parts of our lives could be complete if we lacked the information provided to us by journalists.
Certainly, we get information from many sources besides journalism — friends, family, books, movies, bulletin boards, etc. — but journalism reaches across these other sources to provide information that helps us weave what we hear and read together. Journalism, directly or indirectly, touches every part of our lives. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing at the moment has been influenced by the work of a journalist.
Not only does journalism affect us personally, but it also has a profound effect on the society that we live in. This effect takes form at many levels and in all aspects of society — political, social, economic, etc. Journalism determines not only how we see ourselves within a larger environment but it also determines how we share that environment with other people. Journalism is especially important to American society, where there is a tradition of access to information and the exchange of facts, opinions and ideas. That exchange cannot take place without journalism.
This site is designed to aid instructors and students in using the book and to provide additional information and materials. It is organized to coordinate with the sections and chapters of the book. Some additional material is included for instructors who are using the book as a text for their classes and may be accessed by clicking on the Instructors button on the left.
We hope you find this site useful. If you have suggestions about this site, please contact the author directly or the editors at Allyn and Bacon.
Five Ws and One H: The Secret to Complete News Stories
If you ever sat through Journalism 101, you know all about the Five Ws and one H. For the rest of you, you may find this concept helpful when preparing interview questions or writing factual news stories. This concept may help you write better news releases too, considering they should contain news.
What are the Five Ws and One H? They are Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. Why are the Five Ws and One H important? Journalism purists will argue your story isn’t complete until you answer all six questions. It’s hard to argue this point, since missing any of these questions leaves a hole in your story. Even if you’re not reporting on the news of the day, this concept could be useful in many professional writing scenarios.
In case it’s not obvious what information you would be looking to gather from each of the six questions, let’s look at what information you might want to gather with the Five Ws and One H if you were reporting on The Three Little Pigs:
Tabacco: What a great choice!
- Who was involved? The three little pigs (the first pig, the second pig and the third pig) and The Big Bad Wolf (a.k.a. Wolf).
- What happened? Each pig constructed a house out of different materials (straw, sticks and bricks). Wolf (allegedly) threatened to blow over their houses and is believed to have destroyed both the straw and stick homes at this time. Pig one and two were able to flee to the brick house, where they remain at the moment. We’re still waiting to hear from local authorities, but it looks like the Wolf may have been injured while attempting to enter the brick house.
- Where did it take place? Outside a straw house, a stick house and a brick house.
- When did it take place? At various times throughout the day.
- Why did it happen? Apparently the Big Bad Wolf was trying to eat the pigs. Several eyewitnesses recall the Wolf taunting the pigs before he destroyed the straw and stick homes by chanting, “Little pigs, little pigs, let me in.” The pigs apparently scoffed at the Wolf’s idle treats, saying, “Not by the hair of our chinny, chin chins.” It’s believed this angered the Wolf and led to him blowing the houses down.
- How did it happen? It would appear the first two homes were not built to withstand the Wolf’s powerful breath. The incident inside the brick house is still being investigated, but early indications suggest the Wolf fell into a boiling pot of water when trying to enter the house through the chimney.
It’s a silly example, but you can see how getting answers to these six questions can really help you get all the information needed to write an accurate report. Next time you are preparing interview questions or outlining a story, consider walking through the Five Ws and One H to see if you left anything out.
Did you read all the way to the end of this post? As a special treat for your dedication, here’s a fantastic Five Ws quote from Rudyard Kipling (courtesy of Five Ws – Wikipedia):
“I keep six honest serving-men, (They taught me all I knew);
their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who” - Rudyard Kipling
Tabacco: See, even a Bigot like Kipling can contribute something useful to humanity in spite of his much better known
‘White Man’s Burden’!
Hopefully my Readers will make better use of this knowledge than Kipling did!
Readers must also note that it is still possible to publish Sophistry and Fallacious Argument while using these marvelous Principles! Maybe Kipling even believed his own Propaganda!
Tabacco: Whether you suspect a Scam or just incompetence, this is the very best way to BEGIN ANALYSIS of both the Subject and the SOURCE!
Now you Readers know everything Tabacco knows! I expect to see more Blogs popping up all over the Internet, based on these Journalistic Principles.
Incidentally, I have never taken a course in Journalism, nor was I particularly fond of History or English as a student. But here I am practicing and preaching about all three! Who would have thunk it!
PS REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS rarely explain HOW they will do what they are endorsing and never explain WHY! However they may give us an Excuse – but not the Reason!
We know these guys are not Ignorant, so it is reasonable to assume they are SCOUNDRELS!
Downloadable from Internet Link
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People