When is the phrase “when asked about…” part of good news writing? Rarely.

A new graphic for an existing handout, which I touched up a bit.

When is the phrase “when asked about…” part of good news writing? Rarely.

A journalist who uses the phrase “when asked about” (or a similar phrase) is carefully telling the reader, “I’m bending over backwards to make sure you don’t think I’m giving you the wrong idea about this quote, which could be misinterpreted.”

Students who are new to journalism often reach for this phrase by default, which draws attention away from the source’s words.