Poynter Online recently featured an interesting essay that discussed the issue of asking the “right” questions. We journalists often fall into the trap of asking too many questions — not literally. For lack of a term, the Poynter Online essay calls them “double-barreled” questions. Questions that contain more than one question. Okay, how does this make or break a story? As a rule of thumb, substance counts more than structure. But in the case of asking questions, structure also does matter. Simple questions will produce simple and yet quotable answers. Open-ended questions will lead you to better answers.
As the Poynter Online article states:
Questions are precise instruments that can make the difference between an answer and a quotable one, according to interviewing expert John Sawatsky.