I used to love bedtime stories. My dad's were my favorite because he did more voices, but I'd still listen to my mom if she'd read one. And now I still like stories before bedtime, but I usually have to settle for something on the TV or radio. Or streaming video service and podcasts. We all love stories, whether it's the drama of the theatre, the comedy of the TV, the action of the movies or the interactive style of video games. And some of us still read, too.
We're a storytelling, and story consuming, race. It's how we first passed on knowledge and explained the world around us, through myths and folklore. It's how we remembered our ancestors and distant loved ones. It's how we warned our children of danger they couldn't understand.
To me, journalism is the telling of true stories. Stories that can mean something to the reader. It informs them of the world around them in a way stories in the past never did. Taking the bare facts and telling a story in a non-sequential order to maximize efficiency and accuracy of information. Sound thrilling, doesn't it? It's the information, the classic purpose of storytelling, without all the bells and whistles of things like plot, drama and entertainment. It's storytelling for the practical person on the go. I like the idea of storytelling being factual and useful.
But of course, as I go to bed, I turn one of my favorite sitcoms on, with the volume low and the screen dark, a bedtime story to help me drift off.