In today’s New York Times report about the Wisconsin conflict over unions we see reporter employ a rarely used device within the story: asking a question.

But [Wisconsin Gov.] Walker has insisted that he is not singling out any group, merely searching for solutions to close a deficit of $137 million in the current state budget and the prospect of a $3.6 billion hole in the coming two-year budget. “It’s not about the unions,” Mr. Walker said in an interview. “It’s about balancing the budget.”

But why would permanently limiting collective bargaining be necessary to solve an immediate budget problem? Mr. Walker said it would bring “certainty” to the process of contract negotiations, which now often last 15 months or more.

Sometimes such questions go unasked, leaving the reader in the dark, or more important, allow the speaker to make a statement that  doesn’t seem to make sense. Kudos to the Times Monica Davey and Steven Greenhouse for asking a question that would have been on the minds of many readers.

Posted in: Good idea.
Last Modified: February 17, 2011