By Jack Limpert
The editor is talking to a young reporter who does good work but isn’t posting enough stories: “You’re taking too long. Get what you need faster. You’re getting paid to keep things moving. Ask more focused questions—try to get yes and no answers.”
Actually, it’s not something heard in a newsroom. I changed the setting—the exchange was between two physicians at a Washington hospital. As it was told to me by one of them, the young doctor was under pressure to see more patients at the hospital’s out-patient clinic and she was being advised on how to ask questions to elicit short answers and not let the patient ramble on about how he or she is feeling.