11 guiding questions for journalists pursuing Restorative Narratives

ivohfellows

Images & Voices of Hope’s Restorative Narrative Fellows met last weekend at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., to share updates on their projects, seek feedback from their coach Jacqui Banaszynski, and deconstruct the Restorative Narrative genre.

The fellows — who are part of ivoh’s second Restorative Narrative Fellowship — are pursuing storytelling projects that focus on a variety of topics:

  • Dan Archer of Empathetic Media is creating an immersive virtuality project about a small community in Colombia that’s seeking healing and justice after years of violence.
  • Yes! Magazine senior editor Christa Hillstrom is working on a longform digital package about a young woman who leads martial arts workshops designed to help Native American women who have been sexually assaulted.
  • Public radio reporter Heidi Shin is reporting on refugees who have resettled in Boston and are exhibiting resilience in the face of constant hardships.
  • Florida International University professor Moses Shumow is creating a documentary about Liberty Square, a public housing development that’s often defined by a single narrative of crime and poverty. Shumow’s documentary will relay the painful history, turbulent present, and uncertain future of Liberty Square while illuminating stories of dignity, strength, and hope.

The fellows have been immersed in their projects for four-and-a-half months and are scheduled to complete them at the end of June. Along the way, we’ve provided them with coaching on the craft of storytelling and the Restorative Narrative genre. In turn, we’ve learned a lot from them and have found their own insights about the genre to be invaluable — particularly with regard to the benefits and key tenets of this genre and some of the challenges that come with pursuing it.

When we met, the fellows gave us some feedback on a list of guiding questions we had created for media practitioners who want to tell Restorative Narratives. We updated it after meeting with the fellows and are publishing it here for the first time. We hope the list will be a helpful resource.

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