As the traditional media paradigm limps toward extinction, the debate continues on what exactly will replace it. It’s into this void that journalist/filmmaker/new media professor Hanson Hosein sees the potential for a storytelling uprising led by…you.

Hanson Hosein

Such was the thesis at Hanson’s inaugural talk for a five-part series on storytelling in the digital age. Presented by SAL U, a collaboration between University of Washington and Seattle Arts and Lectures, the series features UW professors discussing a range of topics from legal risks of Facebook to what’s happening in emerging economies.

The idea that caught our ear was Hanson’s tidy new media triptych of story, community and engagement. So much is distilled in these three elements: that deep-rooted, intensely human need for good narrative; the crowd-sourced generative model that is usurping what was previously the institutional domain of The New York Times and its ilk; and the two-way conversation between storyteller and community that works to keep us all honest.

It helps that Hanson is a storyteller himself, rolling with ease between Aristotle’s Poetics to social media’s role in current Middle East unrest. Plus, with an Emmy and years logged as a NBC foreign correspondent under his belt, he’s a credible augur.

In this changed world, the sacrosanct wall between journalism and marketing is crumbling, entrepreneurial individuals and organizations are the new media mavens, and notions like message control and audiences are relegated as cute tokens of the 20th century.

While these shifts are transforming the field of communications, the impact is seismic and foundational to life writ-large. What happens when gaming and social networking edge out email and search engines for majority share spent online? How will digital media impact other institutions and norms? While Hanson was cautious on etching any predictions in stone, what are your theories on the inevitable domino effect of this new dawn?

See more of Hanson’s smarts on MediaSpace TV, of which Weber Shandwick Seattle is an official sponsor. You can also see his SAL U presentation or deep dive with his free downloadable tome, Storyteller Uprising.

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