There’s a new kind of journalism that’s been ticking over in the background for decades, and it’s revolutionising the media industry. Slow journalism is part of a wider movement that’s taken industries by storm. Or, rather, by gently tapping them on the shoulder and offering them a cosy seat in a quiet office, giving them a hot cup of tea and then presenting them with a logical and well thought through overview on events of the past three months.
Flickr: Sami Niemela
What is slow journalism?
The slow movement doesn’t just include journalism. It began with political activist Carlo Petrini’s protest against fast food and the opening of McDonald’s in Rome in 1986, which in turn produced the Slow Food Organisation. Since then the slow movement has also had an impact on film and television. With slower plots, less dialogue and a focus on the image; it allows the viewer to engage with a character’s thought process and consider the director’s choices in more depth.
The Slow Journalism Company produces a quarterly magazine; Delayed Gratification. Yesterday I received the latest copy, and was delighted with the quality of articles. In a similar way to slow film, news stories from the past three months have been broken down, analysed and accompanied with attractive and well thought out infographics.
— Radhika Mittal (@drradhikamittal) September 16, 2015
Getting the full story
By being the ‘last to breaking news’ Delayed Gratification has many reasons to make its content as impeccable as possible. By producing a quarterly magazine that has 120 pages, they are never looking for fillers. The magazine is able to produce high quality content with facts that interest readers, and have time to research reliable sources, rather than creating half-thought through stories that rarely see an ending.[video:https://youtu.be/Exi2jxsQ4uc]
Slow journalism is for those who would like a bit more to their news stories. Learning breaking news can become a competition; but it’s learning the facts and sources that will create a complete story. It’s all too often that readers are left with half a story, as breaking news is constant, but continued news is not.
As a journalism student I can’t help but cringe whenever it’s a slow news day and they use filler news that isn’t even fact checked
— Josie (@_hobae) September 7, 2015
— Christina Zaba (@christinazaba) September 18, 2015
Losing adverts and speculation
Rob Orchard describes beautifully below how journalism is being changed by fast paced sites such as Twitter, and quotes Amy Winehouse’s death, where 10% of all tweets within the hour were related to her death; yet not one news publisher had had time to create a factual story with sources. Twitter has changed how we digest news and current affairs, and this in turn has affected the production of reliable journalism.
The co-founder and editorial director of Delayed Gratification goes on to explain how being the first to produce a new story has become of paramount importance; taking over quality, reliability and content. As a result, speculation and advertisements pioneer how we receive our news and even alter the story.[video:https://youtu.be/UGtFXtnWME4]
As Kettle’s media editor I’m exposed to all kinds of journalism, and it becomes difficult to differentiate between serious news stories and ones created to be ‘breaking’ rather than factual. This is why I am a big advocte of the slow journalism revolution. Students entering the media industry deserve to be able to hear the end of a story; not to have stories completed infactually and with false sources.
Is slow journalism the next step for the industry? Or are we going backwards by waiting to hear for news when we could have it immediately? Leave your comments below!