Truth in storytelling

Journalism has to take into account how creative ways to tell journalistic stories raise similar questions about the line between fact and fiction.

It is hard to keep track of all the ways the motion picture industry has found to describe movies that have some grounding in fact but are mostly fictionalizations. The nuance that distinguishes a film “based on a true story” from one “inspired by actual events” is not always apparent, but one has to respect the desire to draw a line between these two. In the world of books, however, we are generally only given the binary choice of fiction or non-fiction. And journalism, where the watchword is always truthfulness, has to take into account the fact that creative ways to tell journalistic stories raise similar questions.

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