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Change the Narrative: Mitchell Explores Storytelling Methods to Improve Museum Inclusivity

Museums and journalism have historically been seen as trusted institutions through which people can better understand the world. However, both have faced criticism of racism and colonialism, prompting efforts to diversify their approaches to gatekeeping and storytelling.

This report, authored by recent Journalism and Electronic Media graduate Donna Mitchell, examines how storytelling techniques used by journalists could be applied to museum exhibitions to create more comprehensive, engaging narratives. Using insights from scholarly and industry articles, interviews, and participant observation, Mitchell explains the colonialist history of museums and recent calls to address these practices, as well as how they coincide with a similar evolution occurring in journalism. She also explains how narrative journalism and immersive journalism can help tell a more comprehensive story and how solutions journalism can measure the impact of a story. Finally, she presents two case studies of museum exhibitions that effectively told the stories of the people/objects on display.

UT JEM student Ashley Depew produced the design for this report.

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