Jon Funabiki on “Restorative Narratives”
There ought to be a journalism prize in the category of “restorative narrative.” So says Jon Funabiki, executive director of the Renaissance Journalism Center (RJC) and a board member of Images & Voices of Hope (IVOH), in a blog post for his organization.
The question of what “restorative narrative” — a form of journalism designed to help communities heal after a crisis or disaster — might look like arose at a recent IVOH conference Funabiki attended. Attendees came up with several themes that might help define such an approach to journalism. Quoting directly from Funabiki’s blog post, among the themes were the following:
- A restorative narrative approach seems most relevant in traumatic times.
- Rather than being stuck in the “sticky amber” of the past, there is a focus on the future and on possibilities.
- It is grounded in the reality of the situation.
- Depending on the situation, there may be a need to address emotional and spiritual needs of the people affected.
- Character-driven narratives seem to be an especially powerful approach.
- In order to accelerate real change, there needs to be a “ground campaign” designed to help people to engage with or implement the good ideas that come out of the journalism.