Couldn’t agree with you more Frederic on the sentiment for change and a radical overhaul to journalism. In Brian (Media Storm) you have a visionary who approaches journalism from the agility of storytelling.
That’s the broader argument by which j-labs schools are hamstrung. In 2007, then starting my PhD bluntly put as “storytelling vs journalism”, Brian Storm, Scott Rensberger, Travis Fox and several others were, similar to my own outlook, seeing the possibilities of journalism through the wider canvas of storytelling.
The conventions to practising journalism have held together well in the analogue era, in as much as any questioning outside its nominal features were dismissed by the hegemony of traditionalists within the field. What was practised in industry was invariably packaged into the module system of academia.
In the digital era, several facets of journalism’s deficiencies have been revealed. Take how journalism copes or doesn’t with the onslaught of PR narratives. In the UK we’ve come to know them as dead cats, in the US its squirrels. Journalism is ill-suited to the implicit.
Your point on negotiations is another. At some point, perhaps in a distant future, we’ll decide we can’t frankenstein journalism any longer. It’s had its best days and the “journal” from which journalism in the 17th century acquired its name will be put to bed.
Given its reach and stubbornness as a multibillion industry, perhaps that’s wishful thinking. However, in the UK, we’re driving our own little change.
I worked for the BBC, Channel 4 news had stint at ABC News in South Africa and several outfits. In 2005 I was fortunate to win a knight Batten Award for innovation in journalism and sit on panels, the equivalent to the US Emmys that judges TV journalism. I think it might be fair to say I’m a dye-in-the-wool journalist — also turned academic.
However, last year when my university sought to launch a new course DisLAB, colleagues and I framed the course not by its journalism but storytelling. At the beginning of the course I introduce our MA students to 10 different styles of video making in which journalism is one of them. Its constraints are exposed. Cognitivism is as key as the technology.
We learn about emotions and the psychology of the mind. Storytelling, as much as journalism ( which tries to hide it) is a Descartian quality. Who you are, and where you’re from matter. In our storytelling workshops we challenge our students to create impact pieces — something that will tilt opinion. In business too and negotiations we’ve paired our cohorts up with one of London’s most dynamic organisations of entrepreneurs so our cohorts learn directly from serial entrepreneurs the business of running a business.
So, yes, it’s in the air and may the dialogue continue to get louder. Look forward to reading your next instalment. This days old post may be of interest: