Story, Storyteller, and Storytelling

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Nothing has had so much impact on our daily lives in the past two decades as the revolution in technologies of communication. Across the resulting debate in industry and academia the notion of ‘storytelling’ has come into prominence. It is a term in need of conceptual placement and theoretical framing. Publishers may feel that they have first call on storytelling as primary producers of the written text. When oral traditions documented by scribes gave way to authorship of the written text, the dissemination of knowledge became by way of print. But since the invention and adoption of other media—film, radio, internet, web, book apps, interactive mobile media—storytelling has been the exclusive domain of none. This paper provides a definition of ‘story’, ‘storytelling’, and ‘storyteller’ based on contemporary examples and historical usage, and traces how the affordances of new technologies have opened up pathways in storytelling by looking at examples from the origins of media convergence in the early 20th century to today.

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