Why you should chew your news longer
Have to have all your news the minute it breaks? The new Delayed Gratification Quarterly is working to change your mind. Started by Rob Orchard and Marcus Webb’s Slow Journalism Company, the magazine hopes to remind us what fast news can’t do, says Webb.
In a market that demands our news tell us what is happening that very second, Delayed Gratification wants to look back and “tell people what actually happened and what it meant…after that initial hunger for information has passed,” says Webb. The magazine also highlights stories people may have missed due to big stories dominating headlines. But why rejoice in being the slowest?
“We revel in being the last,” to break news, says Webb. The effects and context of the event are already known, and more sources may be available to make order of a confusing event after the fact. Certain kinds of stories work best on Delayed Gratification, particularly those that focus on hindsight through expert analysis (see PJ O’Rourke on the U.S. Midterms, Heather Brooke on Wikileaks or a member of Human Rights Watch on why the release of Aung San Suu Kyi diverted media attention away from the real story of the elections in Burma), stories that draw patterns using tools like infographics and trend-trackers, and long-form journalism stories in which we get to witness a subject’s experiences over time.
“We are not against fast news,” Webb emphasizes, “we couldn’t do our job without it – and we are as addicted to breaking stories as anyone. We are just trying to offer an alternative, another way at looking at the events that shape the world.” Webb notes that while fast news gives us instant access from people on the ground, it can’t “offer perspective, insight and draw order from the chaos.” Do you think a slowing down is a necessary antidote to process information?