Fact-based storytelling is a sophisticated craft which matters in the Now Age, more than ever
⚡️Now, this matters to all journalists worldwide: It’s long overdue that the bubble of journalism awards bursts, because the culture of producing for awards - known in newsrooms and academia alike - really has been disconnected from our users and communities.
💩Following the recent SPIEGEL / Relotius fraud case - brought about by a young German journalist working in international areas, having been awarded prestigious awards - journalists worldwide start rethinking how to frame and measure journalism and fact-based stories in the Now Age.
🤟Check out the 2018 docfilm about The New York Times and you’ll experience editors and reporters consistently using the notion “story” for reporting .
✍️Most relevant seems to me now, we reevaluate and understand the journalistic storytelling format of “literary reports” - brilliantly shaped by Polish journalist and writer Hanna Krall who combines facts and assumptions in order to keep the memory of victims of the Nazis alive.
💡Krall was forced to combine facts with assumptions in her writing - clearly marking the difference in her writing by the transparent use of language - because so many documents and factual material had been intentionally destroyed by the Nazis, aiming to make large parts of history and people invisible as if it never happened.
🗣So, Krall’s storytelling, and of others like Austrian journalist and writer Erich Hackl, became the finest craft in journalism, highlighting the subtle lines between factual and literary language, between researched facts and reported stories, between documentation and construction.
👌Not to forget the innovative reporting by Cordt Schnibben - longterm Spiegel journalist and editor and founder of the Reporter-Forum - who with „My Father a Werwolf“ transformed the fact-based literary report about his father at the end of World War II into a cartoonish multimedia-story .
🥁No doubt, the best journalistic reports at all times have been made in story-formats. Today, in the Now Age in social conversations the story-format replaces the news feed and factual storytelling maintains its impact across all media and platforms.
🤳As in the Now Age everyone is a storyteller, for journalists to remain the Fourth Estate - the force assuring an informed public - we all have to figure out how to convening “communities into civil, informed, and productive conversation”, as Jeff Jarvis rightfully writes.
👂Journalists in the Now Age are first listeners, putting users and communities in the centre - then storytellers.
👆Storytelling was and is a skillful craft - in the Now Age this craft demands purposeful stories & smartest use of digital emerging technologies, especially of technologies seamlessly accessible by users and communities.