Thursday, October 1, 2020

I love what pope Francis said to the journalists and other communication professionals at the 54th World Communication Day. Here is an excerpt of the introduction:

Human beings are storytellers. From childhood we hunger for stories just as we hunger for food. Stories influence our lives, whether in the form of fairy tales, novels, films, songs, news, even if we do not always realize it. Often we decide what is right or wrong based on characters and stories we have made our own. Stories leave their mark on us; they shape our convictions and our behaviour. They can help us understand and communicate who we are.

We are not just the only beings who need clothing to cover our vulnerability (cf. Gen 3: 21); we are also the only ones who need to be “clothed” with stories to protect our lives. We weave not only clothing, but also stories: indeed, the human capacity to “weave” (Latin texere) gives us not only the word textile but also text.

The speech was written in January, before Covid-19, but eight months later it has become even more important. It doesn’t only say why good stories are so needed and why bad stories are so dangerous, it also gives advice for writing good stories.

Read the whole speech (also available in German, French and other languages) at