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Is it time for a "slow news" movement?

Is it time for a "slow news" movement?

Nicole Martinelli | August 18, 2011

With the 24/7 news cycle becoming a reality, some wonder whether it's time to slow down and get back to quality journalism.

John Macfarlane, editor and co-publisher of Canadian magazine The Walrus, wrote a thoughtful editorial about what breaking news means now.

"Being first is still the name of the game, but all-news channels, smart phones, and social media have radically transformed the pace at which it’s pursued — and not always for the good," he writes.

Macfarlane's musings were spurred by the Osama Bin Laden assassination, when the White House held a late-night news conference after the news had already been broken on microblogging service Twitter.

And by quality journalism, that may simply mean taking the time let a story develop and follow it.

"Fearmongering crime stories could disappear if newsrooms worked the stats, thought about whether they were terrified to walk the streets (and if they aren’t, refused to let people sensationalize the stories), considered the causes of crime, sought prevention options, and demanded more of politicians and police than tough-on-crime announcements," writes Jeff Samsonow at the Edmontonian, in response to Macfarlane's editorial.

Of course, if slow news does become a movement, it will have to co-exist with fast news. Case in point: Macfarlane's editorial was first published on the magazine's website -- the online preview precedes the September 2011 newsstand edition. Samsonow noted over Twitter that he was getting getting texts/DMs about [the] call to slow down news, presumably by journalists winded by fast news.

As someone who has worked in Italy (birthplace of the slow food movement) on stories that required months to come together stories and blogged daily, I love this idea.

What do you think?

@nmar

Comments

Slow news vs News

It's not the speed that needs improvement; it's the context. Reporting bits of information, from limited perspectives, can distort the truth, much as did the cadre of blind men who described the legendary elephant. Each blind man "sees" only his part of the elephant, so the animal is like a rope, or a tree, or a wall, etc.

The blind men in the story, though, know that they're blind. Journalists often seem to think they see all, and that their story is all that needs to be known. Worse, many tend to defend their original positions, often narrowing their reportage even more. That leaves their audience with a particularly distorted, incomplete view, perfectly in line with the journalist's -- but erroneous.

Twitter is killing "quality" journalism

It is not a matter of slow or fast news, it on the fact and only the respect of the fact. Speed with twitter now is making his way with the rumour and not with the news. We can see how the speed of mis-information is killing the news about what it is happening in Libya and with the case of the former IMF chief. what ever means you use it will good to just go back to basis on reporting and keep the fact and avoid the "heroic journalism" which it is not " journalism"

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