Ira Glass Storytelling

I found these sequence of videos to be productive and informative when learning about storytelling. Ira Glass, of “This American Life”  hosted the videos spoke of his experience with storytelling amongst radio and television. Although these are not the areas of journalism I am involved with, I found his knowledge to be insightful.

It began with him explaining the basics of storytelling. He explained that there are two elements to a great story: how do you tell this story in the purest form and anecdotes.  Anecdotes are actions that keep the story moving forward and interesting.  You must keep the story going through events leading to the next. This also begins by creating a question at the beginning  to keep the readers yearning for the answer throughout the entire piece.

The next video’s topic was ‘Finding Great Stories. The best advice I got from this was ‘by killing it makes other things live’, describing the importance of getting rid of everything that is unnecessary leaving only what is completely necessary. ‘You’ve got to be ruthless and tough’.

He then explained how when we are first beginning to do journalism, any realm of it, we will find frustration. This is due to the ‘good taste’ we wish to achieve although cannot reach. He described this frustration as universal when in this field (or any field for that matter). But to defeat this, you must do lots of work to get in the rhythm of the work you wish to achieve.

I enjoyed watching and listening to this gentleman. He is passionate about this field and has experience.  It gave me foresight and confidence in Journalism, as I could understand what he was preaching through my own experience.

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