Whois is a simple tool to help you find out who owns a website.
While pursuing a story, you might end up on a website belonging to an individual, business or organisation that you would like to contact. There will generally be a 'Contact Us' section with an email address or a phone number, but if there isn't it can be hard to find this information.
If you type a domain name into Whois's domain name lookup, Whois will provide the registration details. While some domains are registered privately, the service will often bring up the name, address, email and contact number(s) of whomever registered the site.
For example, if you type 'melbournepressclub.com' into Whois, it tells you where the Melbourne Press Club is based as well as the contact details for the Club's administration and the web design company which built our website.
Of course, you can find the contact details for the Melbourne Press Club in our 'Contact Us' section but it demonstrates how useful Whois can be.