Saturday, May 5, 2012

Q IS FOR QUESTIONS — THERE ARE REALLY ONLY FIVE.

Ah, yes. The journalists stock in trade:

Who?
What? 
When?
Where?
Why?

Anything else is merely clarification or expansion. 

One added thought. The better the question you ask, the better the answer you get. At least potentially.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

21 comments:

Manzanita said...

Hey Bear,
How noble of you to finish the A-Z on your own. After it was over, I just kind of melted back into "life" and that is where I still am. The way you are doing it, you can do the challenge and carry on with your life too. Smart Bear. :) I like your idea of preaching..... telling stories and talking to people. Enjoy and fulfill. Manzanita

cheshire wife said...

You are quite right. Ask the wrong question and you will probably get the wrong answer. When I worked for the Civil Service they used to have meetings about the wording of questions.

Irene said...

What made you think of this particular subject for the post, Rob-bear? Have people been asking you a lot of questions? xox

Chatty Crone said...

My husband says to answer a question with a question??? sandie

Helen said...

Ah, yes ... ever the teacher, Bear!

rosaria williams said...

Yes, ask a good question and you might get a decent answer. I see you're still keeping up the alphabet prompting. I could never do that.

Rob-bear said...

® Manzanita: Thanks. You worked really hard on your A - Z posts about the Hunza. I'm being a bit lazy. I'm taking a break from my story-telling planning for tomorrow to reply to a few notes.

® cheshire wife: Meetings to plan how to word questions. Not nearly a strange as it sounds, for exactly the reason you've said. Otherwise it could be GIGO — garbage in, garbage out. Thanks for sharing your experience.

® Irene: The subject of my post was simple — something beginning with the letter Q. And in my 30-year career as a journalist, I asked a lot of questions. And a lot of them were not very good questions. (See my note to cheshire wife, above).

® Chatty Crone: Let me guess. Your husband is a politician or a lawyer — someone skilled at answering questions. Or, more specifically, not answering questions.
Human discussion and knowledge are based on sharing information. How do you get to know someone who won't share information by refusing to answer questions?

® Helen: I probably could have been a good teacher, at university, if I had pursued that route. It was something that had crossed my mind. I didn't think I was bright enough to be able to complete a doctorate. In hindsight, I think that assessment of me was wrong.

® rosaria williams: Good questions = good answers. As for sticking to the alphabetic prompt, I'll bet you could do it, and do it brilliantly. (I always read your posts; I know how well you write.)

susan said...

Now if only our journalists would remember this lesson.

KarenG said...

It's always good to remember the 5 W's when writing, because you know the reader is asking them.

Inger said...

Looks like you have your W covered too, Bear. Have a nice weekend.

Amanda said...

i will try to work on that part - thinking of better questions to ask. it may make the difference between a good journalist a great one.

Rob-bear said...

® susan: Which lesson?

Jane Gaston said...

What happened to "how" Rob bear? I was always taught there are 6 questions... or do we not care about how anymore.

Mummy Cow said...

My daughter has an annoying habit of prefixing her questions with 'Can I ask you a question?' Drives me mad every time...

Mummy Cow said...

My daughter always prefixes her questions with 'Can I ask you a question?' It drives me mad every time...

That Janie Girl said...

Who, what, where, how, and why?

Oh, Bear….those questions are the bane, and the joy, of my life!

ThatManILove thinks I make a living out of asking a question to answer a question.

I wonder why he thinks that?

xoxoxo and mucho blessings to you and yours!

Diana said...

O.K. I'll play, "What do Bear's like to eat for dessert? When are they most likely to have a sweet tooth and why do they pick particular food? Do they find a hiding spot to eat it in?"?????? Love Di ♥

About Last Weekend said...

Yes these were the questions we learned in journalism school and they never let you down. Also if you tell things factually its always more interesting somehow..

lotta joy said...

I try to never ask a question because it always leads to the person closing their eyes and reminiscing their entire life story. This is a particularly prickly situation in Florida.

Rob-bear said...

Oh, dear. Bear has been slow at responding to his correspondence. Let's see. . . .

® Susan: Journalsits remember? What is this "remember"? Is it the next story?

® KarenG: We are, after all, writing for the reader.Good point!

® Inger: Actually, by time I get to the W's, I'll probably have something else in mind. But I now have a fall-back position.

® Amanda: Interesting thought there.
One of my teachers said, "Pay attention to details." His point was that the ability to capture details, and incorporate them effectively into a story, separates good writers from great ones.

® Jane Gaston: You have entered into an area of deep philosophical conversation among journalists. Some argue that the "how" is part of the "what"; others want to see the "how" as a separate question. Just as people have differing pronunciations of "tomatoes." Chacun a son goût.

Rob-bear said...

® Mommy Cow: Glad to see you back.
At least your daughter is giving you warning.

® That Janie Girl: Questions are an invitation to a conversation. Or a fight.
Let's focus on the first idea and forget the second.
Happy holidays.

® Diana: Those questions are too hard for me to answer. Too big for my Bear brain.
"Besides," said the journalist, "I'm the one who asks the questions around here."

® About Last Weekend: "Five good serving men, who serve me well and true," as the poem goes, Jody. And you're right; truth is often stranger than fiction.

® lotta joy: Thank you for coming to visit Bear's blog.
I understand from other sources that a lot of thing are peculiar in Florida. There are times or asking question, and times for refraining. You be the judge.