What do Alma Guillermoprieto, Dexter Filkins, Susan Orlean, Rick Bragg and Anne Hull all have in common? Once upon a time, they all headed to Cambridge, Mass., as Nieman Fellows for a year of study at Harvard University. Read more
Blog posts and articles on narrative journalism pinged around the Halloween weekend like eyeballs at a zombie food fight—and according to Washingtonian.com, an actual fight broke out at The Washington Post. While the Post’s Henry Allen (a Pulitzer … Read more
Lots of the usual suspects are blogging and Tweeting about Joel Achenbach’s piece on the future of narrative journalism that ran in yesterday’s Washington Post. Some people have excerpted interesting bits, such as the great line that “story is … Read more
In some places, the spoken story is thriving. Last night in Boston, that 800-pound gorilla of live storytelling, the Moth, put on an event at the Tsai Performance Center. We decided to ask the Moth’s executive and creative director, Lea … Read more
[The second in an occasional series aimed at helping readers find online resources that focus on narrative journalism.]
For more than four years, Gangrey.com has rounded up the best print narratives on a daily basis. Founder Ben Montgomery, who is also a reporter with Florida’s St. Petersburg Times, talks here about his personal motivation for starting his site and what he thinks narrative journalism can do.
On what makes a good Gangrey story:
Does it have something that’s surprising? Is it entertaining? Will it keep my attention? Is there some device being used that I’ve never seen before?
And on the multimedia components for his latest print narrative:
I couldn’t have pulled that off if it had required more effort from me. We wouldn’t have achieved the same level of—I don’t want to say excellence—the same level of story for either of those things, if both [the print story and the video] had required my attention. If journalists are required to write the story and compose the multimedia elements going into it, both parts tend to suffer.
Read the full interview » Read more
This week, I had a chance to talk by phone with Tom Shroder, who took a buyout from The Washington Post earlier this year. Shroder specializes in long-form narrative stories and recently launched his own editing site, and so I was curious what he would have to say about the current state of narrative journalism.
In our conversation, he dishes on a common mistake made by narrative freelancers, talks about the genesis of one of the best newspaper narratives ever written, and a offers up a considered defense of poop jokes. Here's a taste:
Where a lot of narrative journalism went wrong was that it became all about the writing, and not about the details for the story and the facts behind it. People felt they could throw some words at people and dazzle. But even good writers need to start with an exceptional set of facts.
Read the full interview » Read more
For a primer on different approaches to storytelling, take a look at two recent narratives on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In GQ, Jeanne Marie Laskas’ “Game Brain” follows a pathologist who discovers CTE through an autopsy on a … Read more
The best print narratives often take the form of either movie or metaphor. The first approach hinges on complete scenes, allowing a story to unfold as it would in film, through a discrete series of moments or events. This style … Read more
Our latest Notable Narrative comes from The Sydney Morning Herald. Photojournalist Kate Geraghty and reporter Jonathan Pearlman have assembled striking still images, video and reported summaries to document the systematic use of rape by all sides at war … Read more