This is a great piece... really enjoyed reading it, so I thought I'd share!
The Washington Post: The Vestigial Tale
Narrative today competes against incrementalized information: data, chatter, noise - Joel Achenbach
Chalk full of well-turned phrases, like:
"They know that the story is the original killer app."
"The best feature of print is that it doesn't interrupt you. It doesn't try to link you somewhere else. It doesn't talk back. That's a killer app in and of itself these days. Interactivity is a great virtue sometimes, but there are other times when you want to read a story that doesn't try to heckle you as it squirms in your lap."
Newspaper executives have embraced a new format known as "charticles," which are, in the words of the American Journalism Review, "combinations of text, images and graphics that take the place of a full article." - ugh
"To a remarkable degree, bloggers aren't storytellers. They are partisans, ranters, linkers. Bloggers give away their entire plot in the first sentence, or perhaps even in their URL (www.i-hate-everyone.com)." - not sure I agree with this... the term "storyteller" is a less of a label, and more of a philosophy and state of mind. There are countless ways to tell a story.
This one I COMPLETELY agree with, and slightly shudder upon reading -
Good stories take time to craft. Good writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, etc., all expect a living wage. The real question in the months and years ahead is whether there's a business model that can support good stories. Norman Sims, journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst: "The great stories will survive. But the question is who's going to pay for them. . . . This is not fast food. This is slow food. And it's expensive."
"Kids today have no attention span, we are told -- and then devour all seven of the Harry Potter books multiple times." - that was me (and still is) when a little man.
Storytellers will have to be more disciplined or get a new line of work. This is not a crisis, this is progress. Fewer "jello ledes," quote-dumps, the whole notebook disgorged upon the page. Less overwriting by frustrated novelists. Sorry, we don't need to read Proust's version of the zoning hearing.
"There's this inevitable movement toward shorter, tighter, quicker," says Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists.
"I can't imagine a world in which the only thing of interest is the brief, the ephemeral, the flickering and the tweeted."