digital storytelling,  empowerment,  story,  timeless,  Wales

It’s about the story

I gave a brief presentation about digital storytelling in Wales on behalf of BBC Wales as part of last night’s RTS Wales Media Literacy Network event at the University of Glamorgan’s new Atrium building in Cardiff. DK of Mediasnackers blogged the session here.

I wanted to show a digital story called Set Free by Dean Byfield during my presentation. I invited Dean to come along and he and his wife Hailey were kind enough to come. There was heartfelt applause at the end of his story and Dean stood up and made a storming off-the-cuff speech about his experience of making his digital story.

Here’s an outline of my presentation from my notes ….

OFCOM defines media literacy as: “the ability to access, understand and CREATE communications in a variety of contexts”.

I’m delighted CREATE is in OFCOM’s definition; CREATING media is at the heart of digital storytelling

Q: What is a digital story?
A: briefly, it’s a two-minute broadcast-quality personal story made by the storyteller themself.

Making a DS for the 1st time often means learning at least two kinds of skills that may be new to the individual:

1. technical – this is the new skill which is most often cited in connection with digital exclusion and skilling for the knowledge economy
2. narrative skills – this is usually sadly underrated.

We’re here at the new Atrium, home of The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling – Prof Mike Wilson and Prof Hamish Fyfe. It’s an international centre of excellence in storytelling.

I feel that the skills of organising and relating experience in the form of a story can be as important in the knowlege economy as the technical skills. These skills of storytelling are harder to learn than technical. Learning in a group – workshop of ten people – is what we’ve found works best.

Let’s watch a story


Introduce Dean and Hailey Byfield.

1. DS starts with a Storycircle – no computers for the first day.

2. getting down the story and recording it

3. taking and scanning images from own personal collection

4. using video editing software to synchronise images with the audio recording of the story

2,000+ across Wales
600+ at BBC Wales workshops
Thanks largely to the Assembly’s Communities@One – 40+ orgs with an element of DS in Communities first areas of Wales.

We’re forming partnerships with orgs like: Yale College Wrexham; Breaking Barriers, Blackwood; Sbarc!, Caernarfon, Coleg Sir Gar Llanelli; National History Museum, etc.

Importance to BBC Wales –

1. helping to promote media literacy in Wales
2. a self-authored voice for all kinds of people on BBC Wales’s web, radio and TV platforms
3. helping to spread the skills of STORYTELLING

Finish by showing another digital story, by Margaret Hodges.

creativity photo
Photo by Emil Indricău

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 26 October 2007. (By 2017, OFCOM had put creation out of scope of its activities)

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