Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lessons from Pulitzer


“The heart of journalism is storytelling—we are storytellers and story-listeners, and that was the magic of [Pultizer’s newspaper] The World.

“[Today], the media are increasingly becoming a purveyor of [only] information, but information without knowledge and context is of little use to us. The cacophony going on—you turn on the average television station and you have a crawler about news, you have weather, you have stocks and you have someone talking in the middle, and there’s no narrative thread to link us.

“If you ask people to reflect on a disaster … when they read about the Haitian earthquake, they are not as moved as when they read about the one girl who is trapped for two days under the rubble. That intimate narrative story is what connects them. That’s why we read novels: those stories connect us with the experiences of others. The power of journalism to change the world is when we make those intimate connections.”

—James McGrath Morris, biographer and author, Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power (2010), discussing the impact of the giant newspaper baron on American journalism
at Utah State University, Jan. 25, 2010.

Photo: Morris lectures on Pulitzer at USU on Tuesday.

Editorial Comment: Tell me a good story.

PeezPix: PeezPix prints and notecards for sale.

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