11 episodes

A show about the art and science of storytelling. Every episode, host Ben Hart chats with someone who knows stories deep down in their bones: journalists, communications experts, campaigners. It's a podcast for anyone who wants to be a better storyteller, has an interest in what makes stories tick or just loves a good yarn.

StoryCraft Ben Hart

    • Society & Culture

A show about the art and science of storytelling. Every episode, host Ben Hart chats with someone who knows stories deep down in their bones: journalists, communications experts, campaigners. It's a podcast for anyone who wants to be a better storyteller, has an interest in what makes stories tick or just loves a good yarn.

    Oxfam wants an overwhelmed public to care about climate justice. This is how they’re doing it.

    Oxfam wants an overwhelmed public to care about climate justice. This is how they’re doing it.

    Technical note: We experienced a few hardware issues while recording this episode, which is why it doesn't sound as crisp or polished as our usual work. Do not adjust your headphones.

    Australians are deeply concerned about climate change. They’re also ready to take action to address it. But does that commitment extend to caring about climate justice?

    A lesser-known aspect of the climate debate, climate justice is all about ensuring that those who’ve contributed the least to the problem – developing countries and disadvantaged people everywhere – aren’t lumped with the most extreme impacts of climate change.

    The good folks over at Oxfam Australia have gone all-in on the fight for climate justice. But they’ve also run into a problem: Most of their supporters view Oxfam as an international aid organisation, not an environmental agency. Oxfam realised they needed a story to draw a link between climate justice and caring for the disadvantaged. But they didn’t know how to tell it.

    Enter Fireside Agency: a comms agency for those doing good in the world (and, as it happens, publisher of StoryCraft).

    On this week’s episode, we look at a recent project that Fireside undertook to craft Oxfam a narrative – one that would make people care about climate justice. We sit down with Oxfam’s Nina Crawley, who asked Fireside to develop a story that inspired people to take action. And we hear from Penny Burke, of Whereto Research, who shares some hard-earned insights about behaviour change campaigns.

    Looking for more on the art, craft and science of storytelling? Check out our sister website The Story – a free resource for anyone interested in honing their storytelling skills.

    • 50 min
    Claire O’Rourke says stories of hope can save us from a climate disaster

    Claire O’Rourke says stories of hope can save us from a climate disaster

    When faced with a crisis of hope in the wake of the devastating Black Summer bushfires, Claire O’Rourke felt compelled to act.

    Recognising that millions of other Australians also felt overwhelmed by the scale of the climate crisis, she filled her first book, Together We Can, with hopeful stories of people taking action to preserve a healthy and habitable planet for future generations.

    As an exercise in storytelling, Together We Can tackles the most critical communications challenge of our times – how to discuss a complex, overwhelming and scary problem like the climate crisis in a way that inspires people to become part of the solution.

    In a frank and wide-ranging interview with StoryCraft host Ben Hart, O’Rourke outlines the rise of ‘constructive journalism’, where stories that empower audiences with solutions to problems are prioritised over breaking news and drama. Backed up by a belief that anyone can create the conditions for positive systems change, O’Rourke outlines the pathways for all of us to become better climate communicators, and how to avoid falling into common traps.
    Listen via the player above, or subscribe to StoryCraft on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
    Links:
    Paul Hawken: Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One GenerationDamon Gameau: The RegeneratorsCate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy: Climate of Change podcastPositive News

    • 44 min
    Van Badham does opinions better than you

    Van Badham does opinions better than you

    If you consume any Australian media, you’ve probably encountered Van Badham. Whether as a guest on Q&A, a columnist at The Guardian and New York Times, or as the co-host of her Week on Wednesday podcast, Badham has carved out a name as one of Australia’s most visible political commentators. It’d be enough to keep even the most prolific writer busy. Yet in 2021 Badham also found the time to write a book, QAnon and On: A Short and Shocking History of Internet Conspiracy Cults.
    In this wide-ranging interview with StoryCraft host Ben Hart, Badham talks about delving into the murky world of digital conspiracy theories, and why she now believes it’s not enough to combat fake news with facts. She also discusses her background as a playwright and poet, shines a light on the work that goes into quality opinion writing, and examines the perils of dishonest political discourse. 
    Links:
    The StoryQAnon, fan fiction, and the blurry line between reality and fantasy – article from The Story, Feb 2022Qanon and On – book, 2021The Week on Wednesday – podcastFireside Agency - learn moreSubscribe to StoryCraft on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Andrew Mueller is strangely optimistic about the state of publishing

    Andrew Mueller is strangely optimistic about the state of publishing

    Andrew Mueller is the type of writer we assumed went out of commission after Hunter S. Thompson left Rolling Stone. Curious about subjects big and small, he understands how to get to the heart of the story, knows just how much of himself to insert in it, can turn a phrase you’ll want to re-read several times just to see how he pulled it off, and frequently churns out the most interesting take on a subject you probably didn’t know you wanted to know about. (He’s also toured, at various times, with both Radiohead and Hezbollah – the magazine double bill we didn’t know we wanted.)
    Mueller recently sat down with Ben Hart for the debut episode of the second season of Storycraft. Together, the pair discuss how the media world has changed since Mueller started writing (typewriters are out, computers are in), what it takes to make it as a writer, and why he’s surprisingly optimistic about the future of the industry. 
    Looking for more on the art, craft and science of storytelling? Check out our sister website The Story, where you can read Mueller’s writing on President Zelensky and the strange connection between country music and tabloid journalism.
    Follow The Story on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    • 43 min
    Season 2 is coming

    Season 2 is coming

    After a brief hiatus, StoryCraft is back for a new series of conversations about the art, craft and science of storytelling.  Season 2 launches shortly, with a revamped format and an exciting guestlist.  Follow StoryCraft wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up to our sister newsletter The Story for bonus content about all things storytelling.

    StoryCraft is powered by Fireside, a communications agency for those doing good in the world. 

    • 1 min
    How narrative is transforming political campaigns - with Stephen Donnelly

    How narrative is transforming political campaigns - with Stephen Donnelly

    When Melbourne political tragic Stephen Donnelly set off with four mates in 2008 to crash that year's US Presidential campaign, little did he know that it would set off a chain of events that would lead to the historic 2014 election of Daniel Andrews in Victoria, and a new life and career schooling progressive leaders and organisations in the art of public narrative.   

    The groundbreaking methods Donnelly observed Barak Obama and his campaign using on that fateful trip, which he would end up importing into an Australian political context, place personal narrative at the heart of efforts to lead and mobilise others and create change in the world.

    In this final episode of this six-part pilot season of StoryCraft, Donnelly talks about the rise of public narrative theory in politics, how Andrews deftly used it to become the first Victorian Opposition leader in 60 years to defeat a one-term Government, and why it can also be a potent tool for anyone trying to lead others through conditions of uncertainty.

    Looking for more on the art, craft and science of storytelling? Check out our sister website The Story. Follow The Story on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

    StoryCraft is powered by Fireside, a communications agency for those doing good in the world. 

    • 41 min

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