As a reporter and editor in the field for more than 30 years, Jacqui Banaszynski has seen storytelling evolve with the ever-expanding platforms and tools that have entered the journalistic landscape.
Banaszynski won a feature writing Pulitzer in 1988 for her series "AIDS in the Heartland". She is currently a Knight Chair professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and editing fellow at the Poynter Institute.
In an email Q&A with IJNet, she discusses the fundamental aspects of effective storytelling - constants even in the frantic digital age - and the delicate balance of thorough but sensitive reporting.
The title says it all, and then the author gives additional insights into essential story elements that make this quick article worth the review. I particularly like how she addresses evoking stories from others.
As a former reporter turned biz storyteller, one additional reason I chose this article is to highlight the difference between journalism stories and biz stories. Journalism uses the inverted pyramid structure -- as much of the who, what when, why, and how is placed at the top of the story and the least important information is placed near the bottom where the tip of the pyramid is. That way an editor can always cut text to fit the amount of space available. In today's media, that's probably less of an issue, but the structure of journalism stories still holds strong.
Biz stories, however are structured so the story continues to unfold. We start with the small tip of the pyramid and work our way down to its broad base. The end is never telegraphed at the beginning. We are led on a journey, the conclusion is revealed, and we are hopefully inspired to take some sort of action. We start at a point, and then the story broadens and deepens as it goes along.
Not many people are aware of the difference in these two structures, so remember them next time you are crafting your biz story. Don't get confused between the two.
Thanks to Gregg Morris and his Story and Narrative Scoop.it for pointing me to this article.
Via Gregg Morris