The Importance of Slow News
As social media continues to have a major impact on the way people learn and understand news, it is important to ensure that everyone knows how to stay safe from misinformation and disinformation. Slow news, or slow journalism, is the idea that journalists should slow down when reporting information, and that audiences should slow down before they believe what is being reported. This is much easier said than done, especially with the overwhelming and demanding nature of social media looming over our heads, but it can be accomplished if people are willing to try.
This TEDx Talk is from the editor of Delayed Gratification, which is a publication that is dedicated to the practice of putting “being right above being first.” Throughout the video, Orchard uses several headlines to demonstrate how the rush to be the first to publish can be harmful, and why slow journalism is necessary and important to our overall media landscape.
The article located in the Tweet above shows just how important it is to embrace slow news, which is also known as slow journalism or longform journalism. The current state of social media prioritizes rushed reporting, and this often results in audiences receiving inaccurate information.
It would be nice if journalists were willing to adopt the practice of slow news, but as the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University explains, there are some journalists who are simply unwilling to take this slower approach. This means that it is largely up to audiences to slow down and take a deep breath before believing or sharing anything they see online.
A recent example of why slowing down is important is the cheating scandal between singer Rihanna, who is currently pregnant, and her rapper boyfriend known as A$AP Rocky. There have been rumors swirling in recent days that A$AP Rocky cheated on Rihanna with her Fenty shoe designer Amina Muaddi. These rumors have since been cleared up, but not before Twitter users got their hands on it.
The Tweet below is just one example of the posts about the situation that has gone viral. As I am typing this, the Tweet currently has 305.1 thousand likes and 37.9 thousand retweets.
This is clearly not a life or death situation, but it shows just how far a rumor can travel when combined with the power and force of social media.
TMZ is known as one of the top informants of pop culture news, and I even used them as a source to disprove the cheating scandal, but it is important to remember that just because they are usually quick and accurate, it does not mean that they are abiding by morals and ethics.
In January 2020, when Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, TMZ was the first source to report the tragic news. This news was important, and it was fast and accurate, but they were later scolded by the police for their rush to publish.
This is the type of story where it would be appropriate and necessary to adopt a slow news approach.
20 things we learned in five years of slow journalism
Your browser is out of date. Some of the content on this site will not work properly as a result. Upgrade your browser…
As I mentioned previously, Delayed Gratification is a slow journalism magazine, and the story above contains several interesting facts that they discovered during their first five years as a publication, starting in January 2011. This article is from their five year anniversary publication, but this information is intriguing and it would be fascinating to see all of the fun facts they have discovered in the years since this post was created.
Overall, it is important to practice slow news, especially when we are reporting, reading, or sharing information that contains highly emotional elements. Publications and organizations such as Delayed Gratification and Tortoise are waking people up to the importance of slow news. The obsession with speed that has been fueled by social media is unnecessary and needs to be replaced by the prioritization of accuracy and slow journalism.