Wick Communications

Opting for slow journalism

In journalism on 6 May 2016 at 8:28 am

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I wanted to thank Wick CEO Francis Wick for passing along this story in Editor & Publisher that provides evidence of a resurgence of interest in print newspapers. It postulates that we all suffer from a digital overload and also that the rise of ad-blocker technology is proof that “audiences are unhappy with their digital experiences, and as digital fatigue sets in among consumers, the newspaper industry—and print—is poised for a revival.”

To be honest, I’m not sure I buy the assumption that a consumer using an ad-blocker her cellphone is necessarily voting for print. For one thing, readers just don’t have the ability to block ads in the print newspaper. If they could, would they?

Regardless, I was intrigued by a new term – new to me, anyway – that I read in the story: “slow journalism.”

It’s a play on some other popular back-to-the-future kinds of movements, such as “slow food.” The idea is that some things are better when given the time to marinate. We all know that journalism is one of those things. Some people are actively promoting that fact and reaping some rewards.

The makers of Delayed Gratification magazine note that the speed with which digital news is shared allows for what happened but rarely why or what it means. “Delayed Gratification revisits the news after the dust has settled to give the final analysis on the stories that mattered.” I think that is a well-articulated vision for something that can be delivered in print.

For Delayed Gratification, the answer comes in a beautiful presentation, telling data visualization, and relaxed, long-form writing. It is not the first to tell you about the Paris terrorist attacks; it promises to tell you something you hadn’t fully considered about the Paris terrorist attacks. Is the Delayed Gratification model a Buzzfeed killer? Probably not. Could it co-exist? …

What if we ceded speed in our print product for something else entirely? What would need to give to provide something like that? Would it be worth it? I’m just asking.




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