It’s the story, stupid: the effect of new media platforms on archetypal journalistic narrative

James Anslow (City University London, UK)

The archetypal content of news narrative is being enhanced, not supplanted, by burgeoning new media production vehicles such as blogs and newspaper websites with their associated audio and video podcasts. The atavistic story-telling skills of trained and/or experienced journalists are as much in demand as ever and show little sign of being made redundant by citizen journalists toting camera-enabled mobile phones or wild-eyed bloggers – the green-ink brigade de nos jours. New media platforms add a powerful dimension to the way in which news narratives are delivered. This particularly applies to running stories that repeatedly expose a news subject or personality to the consumer. The narratives used to recount and illustrate these stories often follow familiar patterns. As this author wrote recently in the British Journalism Review: “Those resilient and recurring patterns were identified by the influential but controversial Swiss psychologist and thinker Carl Jung (1875-1961) and labeled ‘archetypes’.… Jungians would claim that consumers of news reports respond to the same collectively unconscious contents as the journalists who gather, edit and present the stories. Thus, unconsciously, they expect shared, archetypal, embedded patterns to assert themselves in the reportage.” These embedded patterns are magnified not diminished by new media techniques. The virulent blogging against Kate McCann, mother of missing child Maddie and Heather McCartney, former wife of ex-Beatle Sir Paul MCartney, bears testament to this.

Timing - Friday - Panel Session A2

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