Washington Reporters

Multiple-Choice Questions.

To assess your knowledge and skills in government and politics answer these sample multiple-choice questions. Here are a variety of questions on media. The correct answers will appear below the questions.


1. After weeks of looking into corruption at the Coast Guard, a Washington-based reporter has spoken to a congressman about an internal, congressional investigation into the operations at the Coast Guard. The congressman and reporter agreed that the conversation was “on background.” In the conversation, the reporter learned that some serious criminal behavior occurred at the Coast Guard. What course will the reporter most likely take?

(A) Report and publish the story, but not reveal the Congress member’s name.

(B) Report the story and cite the congressional representative as a source, otherwise it is hearsay.

(C) Not report the story now, but await more information from other sources.

(D) Wait and see how other media outlets are reporting the story.


2. Which of the following is the best comparison of the media’s roles as watchdog and scorekeeper?



(A) A seasoned reporter interviews a veteran congressman about his career and personal life. A local reporter covers the recent snow storm and record snowfall, and the city’s inability to clear the streets
(B) An investigative reporter finds an asbestos problem at a public school. The local political commentator analyzes poll numbers one week before the election.
(C) A Capitol Hill correspondent reveals the details of a new bill that a congressman introduced. A nightly sports broadcaster provides the final scores to the day’s games.
(D) A cub reporter breaks the story of the first presidential candidate to announce she is running. A local school board passes a budget, and a reporter compares the proposed spending to last year’s spending.


Read the following passage to answer the questions below.

“Is the White House Press corps biased? Yes. They’re Biased in favor of conflict . . . Many Republicans, especially conservatives, believe the press are liberals who oppose Republicans and Republican ideas. I think there’s an element of truth to that, but it is complicated, secondary, and often nuanced. More important, the press’s first and most pressing bias is in favor of conflict and fighting. . . The press love a scandal . .  Why? . . . Conflict is juicy, conflict sells, the public is interests in conflict, and the White House press corps respond by providing it. It’s also harder to cover the intricacies of major policy debates as a White House reporter. Conflict is just easier to cover.”

—White House press secretary Ari Fleischer (for G.W. Bush), Taking Heat, 2005.


3. Which of the following statements would the author agree with?

(A) The national press corp is clearly biased against Republicans and Republican office holders.

(B) Journalists report on news that is easier to report than complicated policy.

(C) Reporters these days do not want the truth.

(D) Scandals are not worthy news coverage.


4. What perspective or experience best helps provide context to this author’s ideas?

(A) his party affiliation

(B) his experience as a White House spokesperson

(C) his working for a Democratic officeholder

(D) the press ignoring him


And the answers are . . .
A, B, B, and B
What could you examine or review to assure you can answer on this type of question, or a harder one, next time again?