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media stormfronts

Went to see Brian Storm present his narrative storytelling techniques and digital media business model at the Cronkite School’s 1st Amendment Forum last night.

You can read for yourself what others of the 200+ crowd thought by browsing thru twitter hashtag #cronkmsm, and I’ll give my own thoughts after the jump. But first, examples of what MediaStorm is all about:

In India, all women must confront the cultural pressure to bear a son. The consequences of this preference is a disregard for the lives of women and girls. From birth until death they face a constant threat of violence. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/undesired

Basically, what he did was take the audience through a couple of the more influential pieces published thru MediaStorm and describe how he made the story pop — looking at the piece in terms of photographic composition, videography, and more. Then, he segued into explaining how MediaStorm functions as a business model, and how social media has been the fastest-growing of many tools used by his brand to promote its product, but more importantly, spread its vision about how mediums can be combined online to the benefit of both storyteller and reader/listener/viewer.

I’ll probably (hopefully) never be as production- and business-minded as Brian Storm, but I admire his novelty and commitment to the art of storytelling and its fair, person-focused distribution. He’s committed to two things: telling stories better, and allowing more people to experience/interact with those stories. Whether or not he’s a journalist, all of us should emulate those commitments.

The evening gave me pause for thought, anyway, which is most important. I jotted down some more stream-of-consciousness first impressions shortly after the presentation, before I’d left the building.

This is a really weird moment for me. After the presentation, I went to the resource center/work room to the North of the Forum. I still have an English internship assignment to finish, but can’t concentrate on anything except the event.
What does everyone do after the presentation ends? What is your reaction to this information? This, the reaction time, the scattering around, this is the event, and it’s too psychological and strong to be surreal.
About a dozen people glom on to Brian Storm to talk about media and shit, all of them standing in a line just off the podium. Several or more students scurry from source to source, sourcing the crowd for reactions and opinions, all of us turning all of us into source material.
Many people are leaving immediately after the speech, and some have already left.
And I’m sitting in the glass-paned room to the side of it all, watching but thinking, set aside by my own choice. I don’t know if anyone looks back.
The two or three other people in the room decide to turn the lights on. I realize I’d been sitting in the resource center in the dark, notepad weighting dumbly on the desk, & my assignment incomplete.

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