How to Follow-up Questions

The love-hate relationship between reporters and editors are like boxes of tissues. The latter cleans the former.

No matter what, the two has to collaborate with one another to achieve steady working environment.

What sort of things that differentiate a fresh reporter with a senior editor?

Let’s take this scenario.


You were assigned to cover a technical presentation on tissue paper at one of the best university in the world. You sat throughout the boring presentation with other attentive audience.

It lasted two hours but you had no materials.

The lecture was difficult to understand because of its technical terms.

It was too technical that you spent the whole lecture figuring out what to understand.

After the lecture, you approach the presenter and asked him to elaborate more about the box of tissue.

Below is what the presenter said:

“A box of tissue is used to clean things. It is available in many colours. You can buy it at the shops close-by.”

After listening to what being said, you drove back to the office and spent an hour writing, rewriting and editing your story.

You were happy of your reports. Your attentive listening skill made you who you are.

You filed in the story.

You thought you could drive home early at 7 in the evening.


An hour later, you were phoned by your editor to come back to the office and sat beside the editor.  In this case, you become a piece of tissue to clean whatever dirt present in your writing.

After reading just two paragraphs of your story, the editor would divide your stories into many sections and ask the following questions below. This is to make sense of what you are trying to write.

1.) “A box of tissue is used to clean things.”

– What is the brand of the tissue?

– Where is it manufactured? Is it locally made?

– How is it processed?

– How is it used to clean things? Can it clean other than things such as human being? How about animals?

– How many tissue do you need to clean cars? Can the tissue clean the entire walls of the house?

– How many tissues are there inside one box?

– How big is the box?

– What are the materials to manufacture boxes?

– Why do you need tissue to clean?

– Is the use of tissue limited to cleaning ‘things’?

– Did the company produce tissue in the past?

– Has the quality improved over the course of its development?

– Who invented the box of tissue?

– How many tissue users in Brunei?

(and bla bla bla)

2.) “It is available in many colours.”

– What do you mean by colours?

– How many colours?

– Will they provide rainbow color boxes?

– Will the color be dark or bright in color?

– What happen if customers wanted no colours?

– Will there be white colours?

– How about transparent colour?

– Did the company introduce the colour system in the past? If yes, what year?

3.) “You can buy it at the shops close-by.”

– What shops are you referring to?

– What kind of shops? Is it a grocery shop? Or is it like the shops in the Mall?

– Where is it located?

– What do you mean by close-by? Near where?

– Is it in Brunei? Which village?

– People can only buy from the shops?How about if someone wants to sell something?

– What other things are sold in the shops?

– Will there be guns in the shops?

– How many shops are you referring to?

So yeah. The editor would ramble on until you could see the lowest pit of hell beneath.



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A thriller with a touch of romance. A mystery seeker. A modern daydreamer.

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