In my Intermediate Writing class yesterday, longtime MU journalism professor and narrative cheerleader Steve Weinberg spoke up about an interesting trend he observed in the Missourian.
A major narrative appeared on the front page of every Missourian for three editions in a row, he said.
First came a profile of Fred Parry in Sunday's paper. Then came Jessica Showers' profile of Jessica Huang, a fledgling writer of 10-minute plays, on Tuesday. And then on Wednesday came Jenny Rogers' profile of Charles Carter, a regular at the Salvation Army.
They came on the heels of last week's two-part series on the exoneration of Josh Kezer.
Steve said he hadn't seen this kind of work published consistently in the Missourian in decades.
The development, he suggested, could herald a new era of thoughtful, high-quality journalism for the paper. He seemed to read it as a sign of hope not only for it but also for print journalism itself.
I hope this is not an isolated development. I hope the Missourian will continue traveling in this direction for a while.
It's no surprise each of the three profiles topped the most-read list for several hours. People read good stories. People want stories. People need stories. The title of Joan Didion's nonfiction collection, I remember nearly daily, is "We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live." If we want to live, we're going to need stories.