Introduction: Random sharing of news about events and discoveries happening in the communities was started compiling in handwritten newsletters after the discovery of the printing press. This mutual sharing of news initiated the concept of journalism in most of the developing countries at that time. The journalism included gathering information, reporting it and presenting it to the communities with simple fact-based writings. Later, new age discoveries like the radio, television, the internet, and other handy communication tools flourished journalism by giving rise to different creative formats. Investigative journalism, Data journalism, Broadcast journalism, Photojournalism, Lifestyle journalism, and Columnist are some branches of journalism. Some branches focused on fact and data-based information sharing, while some explored creative niches in journalism. Narrative journalism is one of these branches, which sides with creative journaling by constructing emotive narration of social settings. This article revolves around the story of narrative journalism, its advantages, disadvantages and responsibilities of the journalist presenting information in narratives.

Narrative Journalism Beyond Facts and Figures-Sheet1
Narrative Journalism, Illustration by Franziska Barczyk _McIntosh, D. and McIntosh, D. (2020) What is your plan B? | [ ] Review of Journalism : The School of Journalism.

Narrative journalism!

Journalism that does not rely on facts and figures or rather courageously presents the background narration of those facts and figures in front of emotive creatures is narrative journalism. Some people say narrative journalism is a blend of facts and feelings, whereas some address it as creative nonfiction. Journalling of narrative journalism focuses on building character in the events. It tries to convey the emotions of the humans involved in those events. Sometimes, it successfully adds a personal touch to a brutal public event. Gathered facts and figurative data are converted into a narrative script and represented through expressive volumes in narrative journalism. 

Narrative journalism revolves around interpreting scenes and events, building characters within those reported events, unfolding some untold passive speeches, voicing the suppressed public events and through all of these, building an engaging story or a concept, which will be felt relatable to most of the audience. All of this eventually portrays the theme, the purpose or the reason for the event.

Mark Kramer states “ Journalism that doesn’t assume the reader is a robot, that acknowledges the reader knows lots and feels and snickers and gets wild is narrative journalism.” Reagan, M. (2018)  ‘Conventions of Literary Journalism – Duluth Immersion Journal – Medium,’ Medium, 23 February.

Narrative Journalism Beyond Facts and Figures-Sheet2
Narratives of people, ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREW RAE_Walljasper, M. (2023) Journalism is struggling. In Atlanta, new indie outlets are finding ways to make it work—and bringing in important voices – Atlanta Magazine.


Narrative journalism is often referred to as storytelling. Many of us will agree that storytelling simplifies complex concepts and breaks down critical data into easy narratives. Hence, narrative journalism helps in better understanding crucial events that often get ignored because of their complexity. Sometimes incidents and concepts also need storytelling to satisfy the audience. Audiences often get bored by facts and figures, whereas creative scriptic storytelling about a concept or event engages the audience for a greater span. Data-based journalism can cater to the audience who needs to get just basic ideas or titles of current happenings, but the audience who likes to know research-based reasoning or creative investigation of a particular concept frequently relies on narrative journalism’s storytelling. The stories told in narrative journalism engage the community by enhancing the basic understanding. As a result, they remain in memories for a long time, whereas the statements projecting only facts are simply forgotten in the current times.

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Influential narratives_Mabalani, M. and Mabalani, M. (2020) Journalism needs to rethink ethics | Ink Journalism.

“Telling lies? No papa” may happen!

While many people engage in narrative journalism, some find this way of interpreting information in this field of journalism is controversial. Some people find the portrayal of information in narrative journalism strays far away from the facts. Hence, it sometimes ends up negatively influencing the audience. In some cases, narrative journalism romanticizes the overall concept in the interpretation and fails to induce a sense of morality. As we all know, storytelling in general consumes a lot of effort and time, which results in losing the urgency of a concept. These are some of the concerns people face while consuming data through narrative journalism.

Also, some think that narrative journalism is based on the individual journalist. Because journalists try to reconstruct a story from the reported data and collected facts, this may sometimes become a portrayal of that journalist’s opinion, as it can easily be translated by their judgements and experiences. The verification of facts in narrative journalism becomes a concern in this field. The ethics of honest reporting of events and concepts in journalism sometimes gets manipulated in the process of constructing stories from sourced facts in narrative journalism. This may invest more audience emotionally, but it adds concerns about honest and unbiased narration.

Baises_Editorial Staff (2016) Editorial: A look at journalistic ethics – The Occidental.

The role of narrative journalist

The journalist in narrative journalism plays an important part, as they have a responsibility to breathe life into those database events and concepts, without losing their credibility and accuracy. As we all know, journalism aims to provide accurate and timely information. The journalist needs to bear the responsibility of creating the story without risking its morality. The journalist is an enthusiast who tells the world about happenings and discoveries going around the world, but the journalist in narrative journalism also amalgamates feelings and emotions with facts and figures in their work to enhance understanding. The expressive, creative and sound narration attracts the audience and creates a sensation. The journalists became the ears and eyes of the audience. 

Responsibilities of journalists in narrative journalism include sourcing, only using verified information, building a storyline without excusing accuracy, providing context while simplifying concepts, and making the narration expressive while taking care of misinterpretations. Also, focusing on descriptive narration without missing the point of the narration. Last but not least, making up things or randomly connecting dots in the story should be avoided in narrative journalism to retain its credibility.

Responsibilities _Hogan, C. (2020) The narrative writing modes every storyteller needs to master.


Every profession that is focused on the betterment of societies or engaged in influencing societies has a responsibility on its shoulders. Because they are the people who are hardly trusted by people but are often blindly believed by people. Hence, narrative journalism is one of the influential modes that portrays crucial data-based information with feeling-based storytelling but with this, it should always be cautious of its interpretation. Because lack of detailing in the entire process of narrative journalism can easily be misread by people. 

Hence, the balance between creative storytelling and factual understanding in narrative journalism can be a win for all sides.


Carrasco, I. (2023) ‘4 articles you must read that will turn you into a fan of narrative journalism – Cultura colectiva,’ Cultura Colectiva, 17 March.

Epistle consultancy (2023) ‘Building the Story: The role of journalism in architectural Narratives,’ Medium, 12 August.

Oraby, A. (2023) AI and Online Journalism: The Advantages & Disadvantages.  

Media Update (2022) ‘The importance of storytelling in journalism,’ Media Update, 30 March.

Kovacev, N. (2021) The importance and beauty of storytelling in the news.



Manjiree, Introvert at heart, but a person who loves to express her narratives like an extrovert. The term “hungry learner” may not fully succeed to explain her philosophy, but could give you a tiny teaser of her curious mind. Currently, in the process of exploring the true sustenance of architecture.