I want to be a storyteller.
The storyteller holds a sacred vocation. As far back as 40,000 years ago, storytellers have been bearing witness to the events of their times and places. In Mesopotamia, they spread the legend of their greatest king in The Epic of Gilgamesh. In ancient Greece, Homer showed the traits of the ideal Greek man in The Odyssey. In early twentieth century United States, Muckrakers exposed crime, corruption and injustice through investigative journalism. These and all other storytellers are responsible for shaping the way people understand and interact with the world.
Storytelling is time and space sensitive. A story’s medium panders to it’s audience. Just as Homer had to twist his tales with a largely oral audience in mind, so I must create content for an audience steeped in a multimedia environment. Media in the modern day have converged. The lines differentiating print journalism from broadcast journalism, and even journalism as a whole from English and communications studies, have blurred. With the advent of computers and the internet, we have entered into a storytelling environment where different platforms and media become juxtaposed in telling a single story. This has serious implications for the future of storytelling.
Stories exist in the world independent of storytellers. As a storyteller, I am a conduit through which a story flows. I have to ask how a story may best reach its audience. The convergent nature of modern media means the answer to this question is no longer confined to a single medium. Narratives may be spun using a multitude of platforms. Short form documentaries, slideshows, text, audio clips, and more may all contribute to a single narrative.
Backpack Journalism allows the individual storyteller to leverage this convergence. With just the equipment in one’s backpack, a storyteller can record, review and edit any kind of content a story calls for. This liberates the storyteller to roam the land, bearing witness the world and telling stories however they ought to be told.
This is why I have chosen Backpack Journalism. Through it I will become a more effective, independent storyteller who can individually create high quality, convergent content that serves the needs of the story and its audience.
Till next time,