I have the impression that the term narrative, which traditionally refers to the literary sense of:
- the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story: Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.- Origin: a tale, story," 1560s, from Middle French narrative. (Dictionary.com)
is more and more frequently used with the modern/contemporary connotations which I could find clearly defined only in the AHD:
A presentation of real-world events that connects them in a storylike way:
- "There has been less of a coherent, connected media narrative and more of a kind of episodic focus on events, controversies and gaffes" (Mark Jurkowitz).
An explanation or interpretation of events in accordance with a particular theory, ideology, or point of view:
- the competing narratives of capitalism and Marxism.
Though the latter connotations are clearly an extension of the traditional one, they appear to be more related to real facts with social and political relevance rather than to fictional stories.
Ngram is not very helpful here but it shows an increase in usage of the term "narrative" from the '50s.
How recent is the usage of the term "narrative" as described by the AHD? Was it first and mainly a "journalist" usage?