News is Not a Story

Here is the latest in the on-going series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

News is Not a Story

Much is changing in our comfortable media world, and if we’re going to be honest with ourselves – and prepare ourselves for the future – we must have the courage to challenge every assumption about the business we’re in, to “deconstruct” the essential meanings that govern what we’ve called “news” for so many years. As a pragmatic postmodernist, I find this exercise immensely useful. The belief expressed in this piece is that the concept of “the story” is archaic in a world of real time streams and flows of news, and if we closely examine the word, we find it completely unsuitable for new journalism. It is in the telling of the story where bias appears, whereas news items and facts have none.

I’m not throwing out the word entirely, because that would be foolish. Stories will always have their place; history is, after all, a series of stories morphing into one gigantic grand narrative. I just think it might be easier to write the narratives as something other than “news,” and in so doing, create a new craft more suitable for the 21st Century.

Next up, my thoughts about 2011. And don’t forget that my new book, Reinventing Local Media, Ideas for Thriving in a Postmodern World, Volume II is available at all the usual places.

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