The stories of people’s lives are often the most fascinating tales of all, and by listening to the audience we unveil a collection of stories quite different to those emanating from our newsrooms.
Storytelling was once controlled by those with power – large corporations such as the BBC dominated, and regular people were but passive consumers of media. Thankfully, the landscape in 2010 is quite different. Media is becoming democratised, and in his lecture, Dr Daniel Meadows explained how Digital Storytelling is one of the fastest-growing ways of empowering the individual.
Digital Storytelling allows the audience to tell their stories, and embraces a patchwork of their memories, anecdotes and emotions. It opens a window into people’s lives, often in an incredibly moving way. Digital Storytelling allows an age-old practice to be conducted through new and exciting methods.
We ought to consider the words of storyteller and therapist, Nancy Mellon, who said: “Because there is a natural storytelling urge and ability in all human beings, even just a little nurturing of this impulse can bring about astonishing and delightful results.” Dr Meadows echoed this when he explained how a photo or a childhood toy can trigger a wealth of memories and anecdotes, thus creating a story to be told. Digital Storytelling is about listening; it empowers the individual, and gives him or her ownership of their tale.
In this world of flourishing media it is easy to forget that over 10 million people haven’t even been online yet. Furthermore, one in ten adults have literacy difficulties, so not everyone is able to explore the wonders media has to offer. However, by telling stories through the use of photographs, video and audio, narrative becomes accessible to all. In this sense, social inclusion and digital inclusion are linked. As journalists we must try to make our content available to as many people as possible, and understand how stories are best told through a variety of mediums.
Find out more: “Telling Lives: your digital stories” – http://bbc.in/aNhmdv