“I keep six honest serving-men, They taught me all I knew; Their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who.” - Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling’s ode on information gathering first appeared in 1902. It was published around the time when the professionalization of journalism – the formal training of reporters, was taking a foothold in North American education circles. Kipling’s six interrogatives have been drilled into journalism school students ever since. Why? Mostly because those who train aspiring reporters and non-fiction storytellers insist that a story is not complete until the reporter collects the answers to these six questions: