Friday, November 20, 2009

Slow down...if you can

Ever feel that the holy grail of journalism--scooping the competition--is more destructive than helpful? That it would be great if this particular form of the rat race were put to rest? That the need to be firstest with the mostest undermines serious, careful digging and analysis, as well as depriving yourself of a major source of information, namely readers?

If you have, you're not alone. I just came across a concept known as "slow journalism" on the Campfire Journalism blogsite. It's difficult to define precisely, but its tenets, according to the blog, include the following:

"Gives up the fetish of beating the competition. Values accuracy, quality, and context, not just being fast and first. Avoids celebrity, sensation, and events covered by a herd of reporters. Takes time to find things out. Seeks out untold stories. Relies on the power of narrative. Sees the audience as collaborators."

Of course, if your editor, or client, has set a tight deadline, you have very little wiggle room. Still, slow journalism is a concept that deserves a lot more consideration.

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