No, I’m not abandoning the term “storytelling”, Alberto — just the opposite (and here’s why)
Paul Bradshaw
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In less than a week’s time we launch the digital and interactive storytelling LAB. That oft-toiled word “storytelling”- all pervasive and simple to understand - however, loaded with multiple meanings.

The PhD student’s armature requires as much framing about what it isn’t as much about what it is to be taken as an imprimatur. In what seems like a woolly approach on my part, I see Alberto’s point (whose Knight Batten Award gave me a leg over) and Bradshaw who’s a serial disruptor/ thinker.

It is my view, however that storytelling umbrellas journalism and a host of narrative forms e.g. cinema, though our propensity in this tech age to lump labels together is testing.

Put more eloquently than I have attempted Roger L. Martin and Tony Golsby-Smith in Management Is Much More Than a Science for HBR cite Aristotle that:

He believed that this realm of possibilities was driven not by scientific analysis but by human invention and persuasion.

Data is data, as Heider and Simmel discovered, with a twist in the 1940s.

An equivalent discourse had poet mystic William Blake argue against scientific causality and Newton deterministic laws, which incidentally would be revised 300 years later through Einstein’s relativity.

A couple of days ago I wrote about this bifurcation between data and narrative in an article reflecting on my science background and journalism-Art career. Reading the data from say an NMR provided ineluctable readings, yet filtered into the realm of storytelling (social science) introduces that variable at play — the mind. 17th century philosophers uncovered that when they wanted to be elevated to the same status of scientists.

Interpretation and meaning making are human centred activities and if the latest neuroscience is to shape our thinking, then this bit in your article: “‘narrative news’ “elicited stronger affective and cognitive involvement” (but not recall)…” gets very interesting and granular.

Emotion, the former, and memory, the latter, are not what we generally think. Memory, shards of the past are pieced together into narratives, and memories can play tricks on us, according Dr Catherine Loveday , as much as emotions, which are predicated on who we are, our cultures and environments we grew up in. If anything we’ll expose our students to the dual arguments, but of deep interest to me, whether its interpreting data into narratives or producing stories from events, that rhino in the room, pinged in my thesis in cinema journalism, has diversity in myriad different ways play centre stage.

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