The importance of the 5 Ws and One H in Journalism

Many people have heard about the 5 Ws and the One H when it comes to writing but many don’t realize that this type of outline can really help with many writing assignments. Often times as students we are asked to write many different types of papers. We learn about leads, feature stories, essays, and many more and this simple outline can really help gather our ideas and deliver a clear and concise message.

Recently i came a cross an article by Jeremy Porter that breaks down this writing process and helps provide a visual of how it can make your writing flow. The 5 Ws and One H consist of Who, What, Where, Why, and How. Some argue that if any of these are missing within a story it leads to an incomplete story that is missing substance.

By knowing who was involved, what happened, where it happened, why it happened, and how it happened, a story will have an obvious flow that will make it easier for readers to follow  a story, lead, and even an interview.

This is also helpful for writers who have trouble outlining their work because it can break down  their topic into categories that have to be answered and will  prevent writing off topic. Many people often skip the brainstorming step and tend to get off topic very easily and often do not know when to stop writing or where to start. This is Journalism 101 and something we should all know about and hopefully put to use. I have found it to be very helpful and a practical tool that is always at my fingertips when im ready to do a writing assignment.

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One Response to The importance of the 5 Ws and One H in Journalism

  1. Kay Gilbert says:

    Back to basics, I really liked your article about the 5 Ws and the H rule of writing. It is better than an outline.

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