Perhaps it is because stories are so commonplace and everyday, so deeply engrained within our lives and culture and of our ways of learning and telling about our lives, that we fail to recognise how very important they are - and what persuasive power they offer to media producers.

Mass media institutions recognised the power of narrative early in their history. For example, going to the cinema didn't take off until film producers began to construct films that used the form and structure of narrative. And when they did, audiences began to pack into the cinemas and have never stopped doing so. Narratives captured and enthralled audiences like never before and... made money. Never slow to recognise a goldmine when they see one, the media soon transferred the idea of narrative from cinema to all kinds of media texts: the news, advertising, songs... today narratives pervade media texts of all kinds. But narratives offered the media much more than a means of making profit, they hold immense ideological power, too.