Sunday, January 29, 2012

Journalism as storytelling

Good afternoon all,

My search for alternative storytelling led me to Google*, where I discovered The 18 Most Innovative Alternative News Stories of 2010. There, it lists slideshows, twitter feeds, facebook posts, maps, graphs, and timelines as ways to tell a story. Oddly enough, it also lists Groupon.

The repeating factor seemed to be use of social media to tell a story or "citizen journalists."

Because my examples are journalistic, truth is the ideal. They beg the question, what is the "truest" way to tell a story?
As we read in the Walter Benjamin essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" modern knowledge and power affect the technique and notion of art. He touches on the topic of authenticity, and how traditional perceptions of art relied on authenticity and veracity.

In any case--I think--when we look at these alternative news stories by twitter feed, or facebook, we are looking for authenticity. Part of the reason they attract and fascinate us is due to our attempt to discern whether they are true or accurate. (I think it's safe to say the ethos of most "citizen journalists" is undefined, so the ambivalence there is understandable. Likewise, the use of photoshop doesn't help matters.) The pursuit of the news story is the pursuit of the truth.

In summary, and as it relates to our purposes,  journalism is (remains?) an alternative form of storytelling. I read that Din's first modes of submission included visual art, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, podcast, and video. Maybe we should include journalism?

*Speaking of Google, anyone remember their Super Bowl commercial that told stories via pictures of their search bar? 


  1. I agree Journalism is a very important form of alternative storytelling. You also raise a good point about the search for accuracy and credible reporting in new media. How do we discern between the truth, sensationalism, and propaganda? Also, is there really any objective truth in reporting or are we just acting on our own rhetorical interpretations? I think its more than this simple dichotomy. Although, I believe in the ubiquity of rhetoric—contextual consideration is also key toward helping us better understand the production (and reproduction) of language and the meaning behind it.

    I would also like to see journalism included in DIN!

  2. I am with Robyn - some journalism would be great in DIN.

    I wonder, too, Mattie about the power of interactivity in these sorts of new journalism techniques. It feels like folks not only want to know the truth but also want to be part of telling and creating that truth.

  3. Good point...I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it has something to do with how we "construct" our own learning--maybe interacting or contributing to a news source aids in the comprehension of world events?

    In any case, I think I forgot to mention that there does seem to be a shelf life for reporting/journalism pieces. Or is there? I wonder if books like "Born to Run" or "Three cups of Tea" will stand the test of time?