What is narrative journalism' A systematic review and an empirical agenda

Research paper by Kobie van Krieken, José Sanders

Indexed on: 20 Feb '20Published on: 09 Jul '19Published in: Journalism


Journalism, Ahead of Print. This article reviews scientific research on narrative journalism, aiming to (1) demystify the nature of narrative journalism by specifying its core characteristics, resulting in a sustainable definition of the genre; (2) characterize the current state of the scientific field; and (3) identify gaps in our knowledge about narrative journalism. A systematic search of the scientific literature between 1998 and 2017 resulted in a set of 103 journal articles about narrative journalism. Their analysis reveals that the scientific field is dominated by essayistic and qualitative studies on printed forms of narrative journalism, with a focus on the history and style of narrative journalism, whereas systematic research on the function and impact of the genre is scarce. A framework is presented that synthesizes the hitherto isolated strands of research on narrative journalism and offers anchors for an empirical turn in narrative journalism studies.