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Is a ‘slow journalism’ movement an oxymoron?

Several examples of recent times have shown how the media have been desperate for stories, and used quick fix or lazy journalism to get a story.

None so much as the Hacking Scandal.

No one can deny that newspapers are flailing somewhat in the news media market, the numbers of people reading a daily paper drops month on month and regional and local papers are making cutbacks or closing altogether- my local Johnstone Press weekly Goole Courier is to close it’s office and have its staff cut.

Many media academics believe that it is this increased financial pressure to sell more papers that has led to lax ethical standards in the press- that cost cutting has led to the time journalists have to work on stories cut, so they seek quick fixes, and that desperation for stories may lead journalists go further for a story and use methods they usually wouldn’t use.

Also, with twenty four hour news and the internet papers are constantly trying to break news first and get exclusives to stay ahead of the competition.

This kind of journalistic culture has led some academics and media commentators to suggest that there should be an adoption of the ‘slow food’ movement but for journalism- that stories should be carefully checked and researched and taken time over- and printed in good time- say goodbye to the world of ‘breaking news.’

I think this would create amazing quality journalism. It would create the kind of journalism which would really benefit democracy, with accurate stories and public interest themes and would be expensive, investigative journalism takes time. And we all know that time means money.

However, not only do never see it being realised, however ideal it may be, I also think it isn’t in the culture of news- news is fast, news is first, news is breaking all the time.

I think that today- where everything is fast- that slow could never champion.

Lifestyles are fast- people work long hours, eat fast, need to find things out quickly and often don’t take into account anything in the long term- we are very much a generation of short-termists. People want the news in bitesize chunks, as soon as it emerges and perhaps not needing to understand it fully. What’s important today will rarely be important tomorrow.

Do you think that a slow news movement should be aspired to? Or that it is possible? Is there any way that journalism can become more accurate and reseached without compromising its expiry date?


About charisscottholm

I'm a recent graduate currently working in news production. Hope you find my blogs, features and comment pieces interesting and entertaining.


2 thoughts on “Is a ‘slow journalism’ movement an oxymoron?

  1. It does exist! Delayed Gratification is a UK magazine dedicated to Slow Journalism. http://www.dgquarterly.com

    Posted by The Slow Journalism Company | July 22, 2011, 5:50 pm
  2. Nice post. And who would want to read yesterday’s news?

    Posted by hannahrosesmith | July 23, 2011, 9:27 pm

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