Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
News as Narrative
Storytelling is a central mode of human communication and journalists can be viewed as the primary narrators of public events in contemporary societies. News stories—the product of journalism—constitute a distinct, nonfictional narrative genre. They share with other types of narrative a reliance on storytelling devices as a means of making sense of the world, but differ in their structure, cultural authority, social roles, and relation to reality. Influenced by what came to be called the “narrative turn” in human and social sciences, scholarly inquiries into narrative qualities of news emerged in the mid-1970s, gained considerable momentum by the early 1990s, and continued to flourish into the new century. Underlying these investigations was a growing recognition of the significance of narrative in understanding news. However, different academic traditions emphasize different dimensions of the relationship between news and narrative. From a literary or linguistic perspective, emphasis is on narrative forms and styles ...