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Stories within the Story: A Look at Frames and Stories Used in the Media

Here is a really interesting article on the ways reporters struggle with the presentation of news stories. It is particularly note worthy on the use of anecdotes toward the end of the story and the way the anecdotes stick or hang the rest of the narrative.

It's an exercise. These activists want to more effectively present their messages to the media. I'm volunteering to listen, to ask them questions as if this were a real press conference.

Unfortunately, their presentations deconstruct into a gyration of language; most are too muddled to be written into a story.

I'm struck by how hard they have worked, spending half of a sunny Saturday to thoughtfully shape press releases on issues they care deeply about -- politics, the environment, social services.

So much effort to reach us, the media.

Sounds like many media training gone bad. (look over a sample of the environmental movements' press releases to see what you think)

The question is how do the stories and language we use paint an image of environmental work? Are we reinforcing perceptions of loss and powerless by talking about the loss of species and environmental quality? Is the movement way to wonky and unremarkable?

Where are the stories that stick on environmental issues that tell the power of planning and repercussions of positive and unintended positive side effects created by environmental protection.

Stories worth retelling like Alabama Dune Mouse, The Story of the Wolf in Yellowstone or the hundreds of stories about river protection efforts saving homes from being flooded, clean air efforts protecting children from asthma or smart growth efforts revitalizing lost communities.

July 22, 2005 in Advocacy, Environment, Good Reading, Media Training, Message Development | Permalink

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