no story is an island entirely unto itself

Samuel Zeller conversations

The process of interpreting and ‘narratizing’ personal experiences—’biographical work’—is artful, to be sure, but it is also constrained by the repertoire of stories available and sanctioned in one’s context of action. As the sociologist Margaret Somers notes, ‘all of us come to be who we are (however ephemeral, multiple, and changing) by being located or locating ourselves (usually unconsciously) in social narratives rarely of our own making’ (1994: 606; emphasis in original). Stories, even self-stories, are inherently social.

—Joseph E. Davis “Narrative and Social Movements: The Power of Stories” in Joseph E. Davis ed., Stories of Change: Narrative and Social Movements, (Albany, State University of New York Press: 2002) 20-21


Photo credit: Samuel Zeller

it’s not enough to get the story

Tobias Negele Bridge Keys FL

… it’s not enough to get the story, but it’s also important to figure out how to make it compelling.

Right now, one of the problems is that there’s a lot of information out there that is technically available but it’s not absorbed by people who aren’t interested in these issues.

We tend to preach to the choir. I think our most fundamental challenge in journalism, especially those of us who want to have an impact is to preach beyond the choir and reach people who might disagree with us, might be challenged by our views and that’s a complicated answer that involves images, video and great story-telling and it’s hard, but it is so important.

Nicholas Kristof

 

Photo credit: Tobias Negele