New Directions, New Challenges
Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook
Chapter 14: Quick Quick Slow: From Fast News to Slow News
← 176 | 177 →CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Quick Quick Slow: From Fast News to Slow News
In a previous chapter (Lewis, 2010), I explored the relentless drift towards “breaking” and “live” news, a trend pioneered by news channels but increasingly a part of all forms of broadcast news (Cushion, 2015). My point of departure was a body of research that suggested the growth of what we might call “fast news,” prompted by the growth of 24-hour news channels, has impoverished the quality of information we receive (Lewis, 2010). At around the same time, Dan Gillmor posted an article on the Mediactive site, describing the inevitable unreliability that flows from what we might call the currency of currency. He ended by proposing a philosophical alternative, a move towards the idea of “slow news” (Gillmor, 2009).
This idea has its antecedents: perhaps most notably Susan Greenberg’s article in Prospect magazine, which drew upon a range of historical literary traditions to outline the case for “slow journalism” (Greenberg, 2007). While it is tempting to unravel a clear, linear genealogy of these overlapping terms, the almost simultaneous emergence of the terms “slow news” or “slow journalism” from different sources—often without reference to one another—suggests a collective response to the technological rush that has shaped early 21st-century journalism. We are seeing the early stirrings of a counter to the 24-hour news culture of “speed it up and spread it thin” (Fenton,...
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