How building stories collaboratively creates more inclusive narratives.
What can journalists learn from improv theater to inspire them to embrace collective storytelling? My target audience is local journalists seeking to increase relevancy of their journalism by co-creating with their readers. The background: I’ve been in local journalism for nearly 20 years. In 2018, I completed a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford. There, I developed high quality conversations around local news topics. After the fellowship, I launched a company that helps leaders in media and education connect with their audience and users. I use human-centered design principles. I also frequently use techniques from improv theater to highlight the power of collective storytelling and co-creating stories and products with your audience. Within this session, I’d invite people into a methodical process to first, co-create sentences, then short stories, than longer stories, collectively. They will see surprising insights emerge about the group by what stories they tell together. I have tested out this technique with other groups — and I’ve seen people become emotional as they notice what they say in reaction to others, and what stories are told when they are told as group. I will then lead a brainstorming session about how to apply the principle of collective storytelling into daily local journalism. I have a few examples I can highlight as well, including collective storytelling from the conversation app called Pnyka.