Journalism MCQs

Journalism MCQs

These Journalism multiple-choice questions and their answers will help you strengthen your grip on the subject of Journalism. You can prepare for an upcoming exam or job interview with these 80+ Journalism MCQs.
So scroll down and start answering.

1: The one amendment that most journalists concern themselves with in regards to free speech is:

A.   The Second Amendment

B.   The Fifth Amendment

C.   The Third Amendment

D.   The Fourth Amendment

E.   The First Amendment

2: What is a "nut" graf?

A.   The paragraph that reveals the story's sources.

B.   The paragraph that explains why the story is significant.

C.   The paragraph that describes the people involved.

D.   The paragraph that ends the story.

3: Why do editors prefer to measure story length in characters, rather than words?


B.   Characters are vital to a good story.

C.   Computers are better at counting characters.

D.   Characters more accurately reflect physical space.

E.   The numbers are larger and more impressive.

4: What is the name of the U.S. award for achievements in journalism?

A.   Ivy Prize

B.   Columbia Prize

C.   Pulitzer Prize

D.   Hearst Prize

5: What is 'Watchdog' journalism?

A.   Writings about new trend alerts

B.   Writings about dogs

C.   No such thing

D.   Type of writing that warns citizens with information about those that are doing them harm

A.   False

B.   True

7: What are the 5 W's in news reporting?

A.   Who, What, When, Where, Why.

B.   Who, when, whatever, which, way

C.   why, what whom, who, when

D.   When what, where, witch, way

8: A common format for asking investigative questions begins with the letters WWWW and H. In journalism, these letters mean

A.   Wishing Words Would Write and Hypnotize

B.   Whoever, Whatever, Whenever, Wherever and However

C.   Writing With Wit, Wisdom and Humor

D.   Who, What, When, Where and How

9: True or False? A disaster is considered soft news

A.   True

B.   False

10: Breaking news is...

A.   News that is happening at that moment and may affect viewers.

B.   Something law enforcement needs to afddress

C.   Something that Humpty Dumpty had issues with.

D.   Something that can wait until deadline

E.   Something that needs to be fixed.

11: Why do news stories require multiple sources?

A.   One source may not be trustworthy.

B.   One source might give incomplete, if correct, facts.

C.   All of the above.

D.   One source might have the facts wrong.

12: How many stories does it take to fill a news budget?

A.   20 per edition

B.   10 per edition

C.   5 per page

D.   It varies from edition to edition.

13: It's ethical for a reporter to accept a gift from an article's subject when:

A.   The subject is grateful for the story.

B.   The subject is eager to have a story printed.

C.   It is never ethical to accept a gift from a subject.

D.   The subject is a good friend or family member.

14: Alternative Press are:

A.   All of these

B.   Local

C.   Weekly

D.   Free

15: Which term describes how journalism should be more devoted to finding solutions to society's problems?

A.   Yellow journalism

B.   Gonzo journalism

C.   Civic journalism

D.   Populist disseminator

16: What is hard news?

A.   News that will be difficult to comprehend.

B.   Feature news stories.

C.   Quickly written stories filled with hard facts.

D.   Serious news with a a widespread impact.

17: The lead is often found where?

A.   In the body of the writing

B.   First two sentences

C.   Last two sentences

D.   After the introduction

18: For online editions of a newspaper, reporters should focus more on getting the news posted quickly than on getting all the facts correct.

A.   False

B.   True

19: When a good reporter is uncertain of a fact they will...

A.   flag it so the copy desk knows to double check

B.   post online and crowdsource the error

C.   confirm it before sending the story along

D.   assume their editor will catch

20: True or False? Pack journalism is when reporters rely on each other for information

A.   False

B.   True

21: Journalism ethics include the principle of "limitation of harm." This principle often involves ...

A.   Refusing to publish a story about a respected community member when that citizen could feel embarrassed.

B.   Protecting a corrupt business owner's identity since he or she could be arrested.

C.   Going to jail for refusing to divulge information about a serial killer, rapist or other violent criminal.

D.   The withholding of names. such as names belonging to minor children or violent crime victims

22: Which of the following is considered soft news?

A.   A car was stolen in a small, local town.

B.   A set of twins in New York City is celebrating their 75th birthday together.

C.   A set of twins in New York City robbed a bank together.

D.   Sochi has been selected to host the Olympics.

23: A leading question used by an interviewer is designed to do what?

A.   To get the interviewee to elaborate on a previous answer.

B.   To lead the interviewee into a different topic

C.   To lead the interviewee to answer a question in a particular way.

24: What is the inverted pyramid?

A.   The steps of validating your references

B.   The ladder of opportunities that a journalist can achieve

C.   Illustrates the placing of the least important information first within a text

D.   Illustrates the placing of the most important information first within a text

25: What does "above the fold" refer to?

A.   Top half of the front page.

B.   A perfect interview subject.

C.   An anonymous source.

D.   Top half of the back page.

26: Which of the following is likely to issue a press release?

A.   A radio station.

B.   A private organization or business.

C.   A national magazine.

D.   A local newspaper.

27: When a news source asks to review the reporter's story before it goes to press, most news papers:

A.   Are willing to verify quotes with the source for accuracy but will not allow them to see the full story before it is published.

B.   Completely agree to share all of the story's content for the source's review and final approval

C.   Ask the source to buy advertising first and then they will let them review the editorial copy before it goes to print

D.   Expect the source to edit the reporters work, since the news source is the one who provided the facts in the first place

28: When applying for a job as a reporter, a publisher or editor (whoever is doing the hiring) may ask for what credentials

A.   C. College degree in communications, English, journalism or some related field

B.   A. Writing samples

C.   B. Job references

D.   A, B, and C

E.   D. Flawless driving skills

29: The first obligation a journalist has is to his or her...

A.   sources

B.   newspaper bosses

C.   editors

D.   advertisers

E.   readers

30: True or False? Hearst and Pulitzer had a publication war.

A.   False

B.   True

31: True or False? Press syndicates are agencies that sell to newspapers, other special media, and artwork.

A.   True

B.   False

32: What are "bumping heads"?

A.   Two similarly-sized headlines arranged too closely to one another.

B.   Enlarged type used to distinguish lead paragraphs.

C.   Letters to the editor that contradict one another.

D.   A newspaper flag that's too close to the top.

33: To compete with online and continuous news outlets, small newspapers should sensationalize the news.

A.   False

B.   True

34: Which of the following represents a conflict of interest for a reporter?

A.   A story the reporter finds exceptionally interesting.

B.   A story the reporter does not understand.

C.   A story with more than two sources.

D.   A story whose publication will benefit the reporter.

35: In newspaper typesetting, what are widows and orphans?

A.   Short lines of text at the beginning or end of columns that leave white space.

B.   Paragraphs that are used to pad stories that are too short.

C.   Long lines of text that serve no purpose.

D.   Short lines of text that are used to form a circle.

36: What is "beat" reporting?


B.   Column writing.

C.   Reporting on a regular basis.

D.   Reporting on a specific topic or location.

E.   Poetry writing.

37: A jumpline should tell the reader:

A.   What page a story continues on.

B.   Who presented a specific fact.

C.   The name of the photographer.

D.   What part of the story is most important.

38: What is a cutline?

A.   The last sentence of an article

B.   The heading or an article

C.   The caption that comes with a magazine/newspaper photograph

D.   The table of contents

39: Writings that are very opinionated and expose wild claims are often described as:

A.   Civic journalism

B.   Investigative journalism

C.   Gonzo journalism

D.   Tabloid journalism

40: What does it mean to "scoop" another news organization?

A.   To buy their newspaper and re-name it.

B.   To steal a story they've already printed.

C.   To bring a story to print first.

D.   To hire away their best reporter.

41: Which best describes the term 'Muckraker' ?

A.   Magazine journalists that document celebrities' lives

B.   tabloid journalists that spread lies

C.   A novice journalist reporting on small interest stories

D.   one who spreads alleged scandals about others for political advantage

42: True of False: A press release and a public service announcement (PSA) are written for exactly the same purpose. It makes no sense as to why they're called different things.

A.   False

B.   True

C.   Depends on who is circulating the PSA or press release.

43: What is a "column inch"?

A.   A recurring feature with editorial content.

B.   The number of words in an inch of newspaper text.

C.   The space taken by a column of text one inch high.

D.   The space taken by one newspaper story.

44: A "feature" story means the story:

A.   Is broken up into several sections.

B.   Will be placed prominently on the front page.

C.   Is presented in several newspapers at once.

D.   Has news value, but is also meant to entertain a reader.

45: A "cutline" is most commonly placed:

A.   At the beginning of a news article.

B.   Under a photo or illustration.

C.   Beneath the masthead.

D.   In the middle of a feature article.

46: A publication's circulation is measured by:

A.   The number of cities where it is available.

B.   The number of copies distributed to subscribers.

C.   The number of other publications who cite it.

D.   The number of copies sold.

47: What's the difference between broadsheet and tabloid newspapers?

A.   Broadsheet newspapers are only printed in the South.

B.   Broadsheet newspapers focus on the financial sector.

C.   Tabloid newspapers have fewer crime stories.

D.   Tabloid newspapers are printed on narrower paper.

48: Which of the following is NOT a news agency?

A.   Reuters

B.   The Associated Press

C.   Agence France-Presse

D.   The Chicago Tribune

49: The NY Times wrote an article about the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor that was branded as Spanish sabotage, without providing any evidence. What type of journalism is this?

A.   Investigative journalism

B.   Yellow journalism

C.   Political journalism

D.   Propagandist journalism

50: What is a "reader?"

A.   A broadcast story with NO added video or sound elements.

B.   A story you read in any print publication

C.   A broadcast story with ONLY added video elements.

D.   A broadcast story with ONLY added sound elements.