Storytelling is an ancient and underappreciated element of public life. Think of Christ’s parables or Plato’s dialogues – both used stories to communicate, instruct, inspire and persuade. In the American experience, think of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which fueled the abolitionist movement prior to the Civil War, or Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” which contributed to a wave of reform and regulation in American industry.
However they are communicated (film, books, word of mouth, blogs, among other means), stories have the ability to touch listeners and viewers in a way that the cold hard facts of exposition never can.
Stories, of course, are like any tool that can be used in many ways. They can be either truthful or untruthful. They can illuminate or obscure important facts. They can educate or they can propagandize.
“Story in the Public Square” is a year-round initiative to study and celebrate public storytelling. It features an annual conference, lectures, awards and student contests, as well as original scholarship about public storytelling and how those stories can affect the public debate.
PUBLIC STORYTELLING LINKS
- Providence Journal Special Reports
- Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
- Creative Nonfiction
- Jim Romenesko
- Investigative Reporters and Editors
- Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
- The Poynter Institute
- Society of Professional Journalists
- University of Missouri School of Journalism
- URI’s Harrington School of Communication and Media
- USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism