Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Storytellers

“When a Storyteller Dies, a Library Burns”

I think we’ve all known a storyteller — Storytellingmember of the family, immediate or extended

But, I’m sure you’ve heard that stories haven’t been printed and circulated for all that long in the history of the human family…

And, of course, we’ve had way less time for stories offered digitally…

My published stories are free to read ( to yourself or to others :-) just checkout the Top Menu-Bar…

The quote in today’s title is an old Moroccan saying I saw in a video and in “…an original folktale that celebrates the power of stories and storytelling.”

The video is about a master storyteller in Marrakech, Morocco who feels his end-time is near and begins training a few young people to take his place…

This video itself is a well-told Tale: sorry, if you have to suffer thru a short ad at the beginning :-(

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Investigative Journalists Are Storytellers, Too…

What is an Investigative Journalist?

One set of broad identifiers is on the JournalismFund.EU site:

  • Critical approach – focus is on what does not work and in one way or another can be described as anomaly.
  • Important subject – only a question of importance for the common good can motivate the amount of effort and resources, that very well may have to be invested in the research as well as the criticism uttered in the publication.
  • Own initiative – journalists/editors decide, what is important.
  • Own research – the reporter gathers information and documents, sometimes in spite of tough resistance.
  • Own analysis – the information gathered and the documents are evaluated. An expert can assist in the analysis, but publication does not depend on what someone says.
  • Exclusivity – the public learns important information, that else would not have been in the open.

And, an article in Salon explores, Why We’re Living in the Golden Age of Investigative Journalism

“For investigative reporting, injustice is the gift that just keeps giving….These may be tough times, lean times, difficult times, but don’t be fooled: they’re also boom times.  There can be no question that, if you’re a reader with access to the Internet, you’re living in a new golden age of investigative journalism.”

Yet, if you read the broad definition of what an investigative journalists does (in the quote from the JournalismFund site), the focus of such a journalist’s work need not be pure injustice…

FlavourMag has an article called, Courageous And Unstoppable: Award-Winning Journalist Jenny Kleeman Sets The Record Straight.

Jenny Kleeman -- Investigative Journalist

Jenny Kleeman — Investigative Journalist

I’ll use Ms. Kleeman as an example of a storytelling journalist with a few excerpts from the FlavourMag article:

“Having tiptoed through war-torn countries, tackling corruption and appearing as a witness in the trial of the first ever Nigerian trafficker to be convicted in the UK, Jenny’s standing on the frontline as a narrator is astonishing”

I do believe a “narrator” is telling a story or tale or, at least, a report…

“I think you have to remember when you’re in emotionally difficult situations that the story is not about you, so you must be able to keep your composure, or at least save the bulk of your emotions when you’re not on camera.”

Probably don’t need to point this out but she did say “story”…

And, she’s apparently kept her humanity:

“You think maybe I would be a bit more cynical having seen the things that I have seen but actually, it’s made me a bit of a hippie as I’ve come away with a really positive view on human nature.”

And, Jenny also reveals a bit of behind the scenes knowledge:

“Part of the way that we get access is through local people who we work with. Every film that I work on I have a local producer, they are called fixers in the business, but in reality that means it’s a local person who makes all the calls for us and whose judgement we rely on in every single situation. What usually happens is we would come up with an idea for a story and they would be our guide, the quality of the producer can make or break a film. I have worked on films with some remarkable people, as well as some who were not so great and you really do see the difference on screen.”


I’ll give you a link to Jenny’s site and ask you to watch a video, then decide if investigative journalists can be storytellers (in fact, fiction writers would do well to notice how these folks tell their stories...):

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Are You A Storyteller? ~ Of Course You Are :-)

Have you ever answered one of these questions?

How did you meet your husband/wife/significant other?

Why did you buy that car?

How did your parents meet?

Why in the world do you like that food?

What was your college life like?

Why do you believe that?

Even if your answer was short it probably qualifies as a “story”:

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: n. An account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious…

You may not talk like a novelist but it’s exceedingly hard for a human being to get away from telling stories.

Joel Friedlander, book designer, has been featured in this blog many times.

Joel’s blog post today is Storytelling is Us and it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s a snippet (with Joel quoting Henning Mankell):

” ‘It struck me as I listened to those two men [sitting on a park bench] that a truer nomination (name) for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats–and they in turn can listen to ours.’ ”

And, concerning the selling of books, Joel says:

“When I watch a really accomplished marketer at work, I’m always looking at the stories they are telling. It might surprise you to know just how much even the most dedicated pitchmen rely on stories to reach their audience.”


What stories have you told today?

Were they more like history or fiction?

Did your listener what to hear more than you at first told?

Did you tell a longer story than you at first thought you would?

Did your listener chuckle?

Laugh out loud?


Look at you with suspicion?

How many stories did you tell last week?

Last month?

In your whole life?

Can you tell I want to hear a bit of one of your stories in the Comments? :-)
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