Storytelling and Journalism

Storytelling has been found in many aspects of the humanities. Storytelling is an effective way to share ideas, facts and to persuade. This can link storytelling closely to journalism where writers want to reach their audience, persuade their readers, and reach deep emotional levels with their followers. In order to reach their audience, journalists have researched ways storytelling can be used to reach their audience. Storytelling can be used in journalism but at a price. Many journalists who create stories may leave out facts in order to fill their space with emotion. This leads many people to disregard these articles for columns they believe are more fact based.

But, with the idea of storytelling in journalism it has brought about Civic Journalism. This type of journalism puts the power of the writing into the hands of the people in the community. These journalists are not necessarily classroom taught journalists. These are people who see injustice in their community and want to speak out as a part of activism. Storytelling can bring forward community efforts as well as activism into a type of journalism that can educate and highlight community members. These types of journalists must understand the correct way to emotional stir their audience while also keeping their story factually correct.

Recent studies sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Knight Commission demonstrate the importance of community members to be effective producers of information, not just effective consumers.  While individual voice is an important direct impact of the storytelling process, these studies are also finding that storytelling and citizen journalism can also serve as a critical starting point for professional writers to become aware of important but unreported issues and events within a community.  Further, raising awareness through community engagement in the storytelling process can put pressure on professional writers to themselves report on these issues.

A great article that examines how to blog and how blogging can be used to advance ideas of community is available online at http://rising.globalvoicesonline.org/guides/. This article should be read by anyone interested in this topic and would like to further their own ideas in blog or any other multimedia fashion.

For more information please see:

Barkin, Steve M. “The Journalist as Storyteller: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” American Journalism Winter (1984): 27-33.

Coberst. “Democracy, Critical Thinking, & Journalism – SciForums.com.” SciForums.com – Science Forums. 18 Oct. 2007. <http://www.sciforums.com/>.

Deuze, Mark. “Towards Professional Participatory Storytelling in Journalism and Advertising.” First Monday 10.7 (2005).

Agarwal, Amit. “Difference Between Blogging and Journalism.” Digital Inspiration: A Technology Blog on Software and Web Applications. 27 Sept. 2007. http://www.labnol.org/internet/blogging/difference-between-blogging-and-journalism/1421/.

Carter, Kristi. “Citizen Journalism vs. Television Journalism: Differences Between TV Journalism and Journalism for Citizens.” Suite101.com: Online Magazine and Writers’ Network. 4 Jan. 2010. <http://www.suite101.com/content/citizen-journalism-vs-television-journalism-a185487>.

Jarvis, Jeff. “Is Journalism Storytelling? « BuzzMachine.” BuzzMachine. 8 Dec. 2009. Web. 06 Dec. 2010. <http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/12/08/is-journalism-storytelling/>.

Schaffer, Jan, “New Voices: What Works, Lessons From Funding Five Years of Community News Startups.” http://www.kcnn.org/nv_whatworks/pdf

The Knight Commision on the Imformation Needs of Communities in a Democracy, “Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age.”  http://www.knightcomm.org/read-the-report-and-comment/

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