Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tom Hallman on print narrative

Tom Hallman, Pulitzer winner at The Oregonian, spoke about print narrative and its future at the recent American Association of Sunday and Features Editors conference.

Nieman Storyboard posted his talk, which included a lot of uplifting thoughts about what storytelling means to people and to newspapers, things like:

The way we can define ourselves is by telling stories.

and

At every newspaper, storytelling can be the tonic to help us get through these times. For the writers, it means they connect with the readers. For the newspapers, it helps brand a paper in the community.

He also said some provocative things:

But I do worry about the next generation because they are not schooled in the craft of reporting. They’re more interested in writing than they are in reporting. And many of them feel entitled, saying, “I want to be a writer. I don’t want to spend two years covering cops.”

and

One of the negative things coming out of the golden age of narrative journalism is the whole writing coach, seminar, Nieman conference thing. We still have a little bit of that hanging on
now.

As you can tell just from that stuff, it's a good read.