Here's an European writing a book/thesis about storytelling in journalism. What texts (linguistics, literary theory etc – preferably *not* mass communication theory) might help in analysing contemporary changes in that field?
Being a journo, I've read many "expert" books on contemporary sotyrelling (several by Jack Hart
; New New Journalism
by Robert Boynton etc).
These are very good "functionalist"/how-to-books. However, after reading some basic Lakoff
and David Shields' excellent Reality Hunger
, I feel like challenging the traditional western storytelling "paradigm". First: Lakoff's ideas explain remarkably well why "objectivity" doesnt work (neither in journalism nor elsewhere). Second: What if Shields is right and the traditional, carefully structured and, as one might define, kind of "linear" journalistic storytelling really doesn't manage to reflect today's world all that well? (New Journalism is 60 years old, after all – and it emerged in a similar situation where old journalistic methods didn't seem to work any more.)
Furthermore, Errol Morris once pointed
how some contemporary documentary film makers are simultaneously telling a story and "commenting" on how it is being told (in other words, they're showing how even "true stories" are always the author's constructions). Alternative theatre directors sometimes talk about "being tired of having to have a story". Etc, etc. The way I see it, something – some kind of shift – definitely is going on.
So. My book will focus on story structure, style, objectivity vs subjectivity and the writer's position towards the text. What's going on there? If something really is changing, then whose ideas and theories might help to map out and analyse these changes? Anything that would give me a wider, more philosophical or even "scientific" (howdy, cognitive linguists!) perspective on what contemporary (journalistic) stories are, how they are composed and understood?
(In other words, uh, I don't know – is there any "hard science" being done on storytelling already?)
Any links to books, scholarly articles and good essays are warmly welcomed. bonus points for suggesting Europe-centric ideas and thinkers.
Thanks very much!