Category: journalism 101

Who, What, When, Where, and Why: Journalism 101

This afternoon I was checking for information about the TV show Big Brother. I rarely watch network TV anymore, and when I do it’s usually something specific like Big Brother. I’ve been following the drama in that house since the first season, and it’s become a summertime tradition. It’s so bad with me, I’ve been on vacation and postponed dinner plans so I wouldn’t miss an eviction.

By not watching network TV, I didn’t even know if there was going to be a Big Brother 2011 this year. For all I know, they could have cancelled it. So I took a quick trip around the web to find out if there was going to be a 2011 season, and found the same problem I always find on the web.

There were tons of pieces about Big Brother. But not one had any information about the date the first show airs. I double checked and triple checked, and finally found a blog post dated July 6, 2011 that said the first show was airing “tomorrow.” This is basic journalism101fail. And I can’t believe so many get away with it.

Now I shouldn’t have to do math to get this information. The blogger or reporter should have said airs “July 7, 2011,” and then they should have given the network and the time slot. This is basic journalism, the who, what, when, where, and why. I still don’t know what network…I forget each year…and I’ll have to check verizon fios for that.

I’m starting to think this lack of information…and knowledge about journalism…is going viral on the web. It happens to me all the time, from book review sites to large news organizations. And this isn’t subjective. When posting *information* about something on a blog or a web site, if you don’t give the who, what, when, where, and why, no one’s going to know what the blogger or reporter is talking about.

This post is all about:

Who: Big Brother 2011/bad bloggers

What: Finding basic info about Big Brother 2011

When: I was looking this afternoon

Where: I was searching online information sites

Why: Because I want to watch the new season and can’t find the information I need because so many, who know so much, don’t know basic journalism 101.