Vernon Clark discusses the fundamentals of newswriting

Longtime Inquirer reporter and editor Vernon Clark returned to the newsroom to teach the fundamentals of newswriting to students.

Vernon Clark speaks to students Saturday, Feb. 11. (FRANK WIESE / Staff)
He began with the inverted pyramid and the core questions that stories seek to answer:

  • Who?
  • What? 
  • Where? 
  • When? 
  • Why? 
  • How? 

Vernon Clark speaking to students Saturday, Feb. 11. (FRANK WIESE / Staff)
Clark walked students through how two stories presented the information to answer those questions. Staying factual is important, he said, and answering “Why?” is often the hardest part.

“Alternative facts? There are no such thing. The facts are the facts, and that’s how we do it in journalism.”

He also emphasized the importance of recognizing the most important elements of the story: “It needs to be timely, and it needs to be significant.”

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