Editors can answer frequently asked questions

Two recent FAQ-style stories caught my attention for the smart way they convey information:

  • The BBC website posted this Q&A on the unrest in Ukraine. I had been following the news from that country in the newspaper and on NPR, but reading this story, I felt like I fully understood the situation for the first time. The map and video contribute to the storytelling.
  • Joe Ovies of WRALSportsFan.com posted this Q&A about Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson has a complicated history, playing college football at both N.C. State and Wisconsin before moving on to the NFL. Ovies uses a conversational tone that is appropriate to the topic.

From sports to international affairs, simple and straightforward explainers like these are a service to readers. Information presented in alternative formats is memorable. That’s something for editors to keep in mind as they decide what to publish and post, and in what form.