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Journalistic Storytelling: Towards a personal and collective understanding of health and illness

THOMASON, Carmel and KEVERN, Peter (2017) Journalistic Storytelling: Towards a personal and collective understanding of health and illness. In: Association for Medical Humanities Annual Conference 2017, 28-30 June 2017, Keele University. (Unpublished)

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Across a range of health-related disciplines, there is a broad consensus that self-narratives of health and illness have a potentially therapeutic role. There is also some agreement that such narratives can assist the public in understanding people’s lived experience, contributing to the shared cultural perception of and response to a given illness.
If the first of these functions is mediated by therapists, the second is primarily mediated by journalists. Like the therapist, the journalist functions as a co-creator of the illness narrative, but unlike the therapist, the journalist has a divided ethical responsibility. She is answerable not only to the needs of her interlocutor, but also to her readership and to whatever editorial commitments and constraints she has.
In this presentation, the authors examine the role of literary journalism in helping patients, practitioners, families and the general public understand experiences of illness and disability.
Using a framework developed by Greenberg (2014) from Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Poetics and Mitchell’s (2014) discourse-analytical approach to journalistic ethics, they reflect upon the experience of one of them in co-creating such narratives for a series of books published for a mainstream/lay readership.
This reflection considers both the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of journalistic storytelling as a method to understand and facilitate both a personal and collective response to health and illness.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: For access to the PowerPoint slides please contact
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: Association for Medical Humanities Annual Conference 2017
Event Location: Keele University
Event Dates: 28-30 June 2017
Depositing User: Carmel THOMASON
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 13:07
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:52
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