Adding and improving narrative work strengthens publications. Audiences savor a good story, writers relish license to engage their full knowledge and know-how, and management values more engaging, informative content.
Emphasizing narrative needn’t alter the hierarchy or soul of an organization much. Inevitably, however, introducing narrative is a top-down initiative, at least after its earliest phase. The change involves identifying in-house talent, recruiting good work, shifting administrative priorities enough to open up and guard dedicated space, with appropriate frequency, quality, voice, ethical standard and cost control. Underlying but anticipatable staff issues emerge along with staff differentiation and the loosing of individual authority, both of which require attention.
I’ve consulted and offered seminars to editors and reporters at many publications including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Providence Journal, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Media 21 and Independent Chains and Sunday Times in South Africa, Politiken and Berlinske Tiden in Copenhagen, at Le Figaro and Le Monde in Paris, the Media Foundation in Leipzig, Publico in Lisbon, The Grapevine in Reykjavik, at Kyoto Shimbun, and at Texto Vivo Foundation in Sao Paulo and Zero Hora in Porto Alegre, Brazil.