How do you tell a great story?
“Keep it narrative,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, Senior Producer of the PBS series Frontline.
The rest of the panel recently convened by Pro Publica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, independent non-profit source of investigative journalism, and New York’s New School, agreed.
Ira Glass, Host and Producer of NPR’s This American Life, The New Yorker Editor David Remnick, and Pro Publica Managing Editor Stephen Engelberg joined Aronson-Rath in exploring the place of “Long-Form Story Telling in a Short-Attention-Span World.”
Each panelist brought the perspective of a different publishing platform to the discussion, but some points of agreement emerged. First, as Remnick put it, there are “myriad ways that non-fiction writing can show itself.”
Engelberg noted that, “the great long form writers are all using the techniques that fiction writers use.”
All agreed that the medium employed to tell a story determines the most appropriate tools to use in doing so. But whatever the medium, Glass said, “Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”
The discussion considered both a wide range of story telling techniques and implications of our changing media landscape for storytellers.
You can watch a video of the panel below.