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In essence, narrative is ‘the story’. ‘Journalists’, Bell argues ‘are professional story tellers of our age. The fairy tale starts: “Once upon a time.” The news story begins: “Fifteen people were injured today when a bus plunged …” The journalist's work is focused on the getting and writing of stories’ (1991: 147) and ‘good stories’ are always at the centre of good journalism.

When considering narratives, we first need to distinguish between the narrative content and the narrative form (Montgomery et al., 2000). Narrative content is the actual sequence of events in the story: in essence, the plot, or the structure of actions. The basic narrative structure, first discussed by Aristotle in his Poetics (1962), develops along the following trajectory: introduction of characters and setting, ...

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