Jay Rosen @jayrosen_nyu I teach journalism and direct the Studio 20 program at NYU, critique the press, direct @membershippzzle. 'Ambassador' for @decorrespondent's expansion. Dec. 25, 2018 1 min read

I don't know how our journalists came to see "storytelling" as the heart of what they do, and "storyteller" as a self-description. I can think of 4-5 elements of journalism more central than "story." Truthtelling, grounding public conversation in fact, verification... listening.

Read @ub14 on how bizarre the centrality of "story" can seem. "After I left law for journalism, I learned that journalists do, in fact, call the people in their stories 'characters.' I remember how astonished I was when I learned that..." Good piece.  http://www.niemanlab.org/2018/12/the-story-doesnt-end-for-the-people-we-quote/ 

Or, on the same point — how did journalists come to see themselves a society's storytellers and what are the costs of this misfit self-conception? — read @jeffjarvis on the Der Spiegel scandal, which is all about this. The seduction of storytelling:  https://medium.com/whither-news/the-spiegel-scandal-and-the-seduction-of-storytelling-bfed804d7b21 

Here's a post I wrote about this inflation of the term "story" in journalism. It was not one of my more popular pieces.  http://pressthink.org/2014/12/i-had-just-arrived-in-the-chicago-bureau-and-i-needed-a-story/ 

To complete this mini-thread on the abuse of "story" in journalism, a post I wrote on the debacle at Rolling Stone, which involved a pre-set narrative in search of a setting where it could rise. That's backwards.  http://pressthink.org/2015/04/rolling-stones-a-rape-on-campus-notes-and-comment-on-columbia-j-schools-investigation/ 


You can follow @jayrosen_nyu.



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