Ancient Forms of Journalism Reveal the Importance of Storytelling

In Ron Smith’s, Public Relations the Basics he writes, “Jesus himself was a great storyteller who used parables and other short stories with strong, simple and easy-to-understand messages to teach moral lessons.”

As a journalist this chapter in the book made me think about the different platforms we use to share stories. We use the written word in newspapers, magazines and online articles. We also write stories to be heard or seen through television, web shows or radio shows. No matter the platform our goal is to tell a story or share a piece of information truthfully and artfully with our audience.

I think it’s interesting how we can look back at ancient times and see the same things being done that we do today in this field.

For example, the gospel writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all wrote on the same account but in four different ways pertaining to four different audiences. (Matthew writing for Jewish Christians, Mark for non-Jewish Greeks, Luke for non-Jewish Christians, and John for nonbelievers and later the network of Christian communities spreading throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, p.41).

Isn’t it amazing how such stories as the ones told in the Bible have lasted centuries? The importance of storytelling is that stories can withstand the test of time. They can bring people together or pull people a part. They can teach us about others and ourselves. As a journalist it’s important to take storytelling seriously, for we write the history of our world.


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