Diary 13: The Story Continues…

A group of Northern Kentucky University students, faculty and staff, as well as others from the community, met on Monday to discuss restorative narratives in journalism as a part of the Lunch with the Pros series sponsored by NKU’s chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

The speakers at this session included Tom Callinan, founder and director of the nonprofit Charitable Words, Elissa Yancey, director of special projects at the University of Cincinnati’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, and Bob Driehause, education reporter for WCPO.com.

Yancy said during the session that often times, people have become tired of the bad news that is often the forefront of journalism.

“I blame the 24/7 news cycle for some of the negativity that we see,” Yancy said. “You’re filling the air with crap all the time.”

Restorative narrative projects attempt to focus on resilience over loss and solutions over problems in an effort to share news from a new perspective.

Callinan said that context is really important in a restorative narrative project.

“Identify a huge problem or social issue,” Callinan said, “and then find a success story in the context of the bigger story.”

This is the best definition of our own wordupdocproject. Our documentary has been following a group of children who are growing up in a part of the country where poverty is a real problem. These kids are facing insurmountable odds every day and the Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam came to life as a way to give these kids a voice.

When we started this project, I had never heard of restorative narratives, but one student always stood out and that was Lacy.

He is that hope and success that we found in the midst of a much bigger story that will bring to light the social issue of poverty in Cincinnati.

Sara Drabik, EMB professor at NKU and one of our documentary mentors, put together this video that was shown during this session as an example of restorative narrative.

FInding Asylum: The Power of Words from Sara Drabik on Vimeo.

The large documentary is still a work in progress, but this short video shows just the tip of what our documentary can be.

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