Most journalists talk about the five W’s as a method to get a story. These are:
WHO? Every topic needs a subject.
WHAT? Every subject needs an event.
WHEN? Every event needs a time.
WHERE? Every event needs a place.
WHY? The existentialist question. There is a reason behind the subject experiencing the event, at the time and place it happened.
That’s five W’s… but there is actually a sixth, forgotten one. I will argue that the sixth W is found at the end of the question and word: “HOW?”.
HOW is the most forgotten and subtle question. It is the only future-looking or solution-focused question. After we have answers to the first five questions, we need to ask HOW so we can re-frame the entire situation to consider change and solutions.
HOW do we create peace?
HOW do we reduce suffering?
HOW do we find happiness?
Perhaps problems remain unsolved because we stop short of asking the forgotten ‘W’ question of HOW.