What is about reporters and asking questions?
When I edit copy and notice there is no age/job/address for a person I naturally ask the reporter - why not?
Quick as a flash they come back with 'they didn't tell me'.
I respond 'But did you actually ask them?' and generally a bashful junior (sometimes senior) hacklet comes back with the answer 'umm....no'.
Our job is to ask questions. If you don't know something ask. If you struggle to hear an answer, ask again. Ask, ask, ask. The more you ask questions, the better you get at writing stories and thinking about what your tale needs.
Some questions seem too personal or too intrusive. Ask them anyway. The more natural your questions sound, the more likely the interviewee is to answer them.
I have asked some hideously insensitive questions. I remember live on Sky TV asking a senior politician's spin doctor whether the minister was going to make it through the night after an accident. The weeping PR was forced to admit it was unlikely thus giving the whole pack that night's headlines.
Did I feel bad? Of course not. It was the question everyone wanted to know the answer to.
But someone has to ask it.
Many times I have heard journalists interview over the phone and had to scribble furious notes to push under their nose when they pussy foot around the issues.
Most of it is experience, but you need to start asking those awkward questions now.
Start with checking the spelling of every name, age, address and occupation and work your way up from there....................