Embracing Slow News

Our news-cycle is only speeding up.

As a digital society, we are like spectators at a tennis match, staring at the same ball as it is batted from one news story to the next. Many forces are at work to direct this collective attention: presidential tweets, foreign armies of mis-information and the media platforms we are all glued to each day.

Digital design favors bite-sized stories that float along endlessly scrolling feeds. When every story or post has to compete alongside photos from your niece’s birthday and sixty second recipe videos for rainbow cake, each piece must sell itself like a magazine cover story, with an image and headline to match.

In this environment, we risk losing context, nuance and the chance to contemplate journalism that doesn’t fit neatly into minute-by-minute reporting.

Thankfully, there is an emerging response.

Apps like the excellent Nuzzel encourage readers to catch up on Twitter links at their own pace. Furthermore, the ever resilient email newsletter has taken the place of nightly news bulletins for cord-cutters around the country.

Writers, editors and curators like Ann Friedman, Dave Pell or Brian Stelter are countering algorithmic discovery with old-fashioned human editorial, and creating loyal communities to support them along the way. Their periodical digests encourage readers to brew a cup of coffee and take the time to consider an individual take on the news.

It is this celebration of a slower news cycle that inspired Gazet: a community of writers, editors and enthusiasts who use the platform to publish digital digests on a wide variety of subjects.

The Gazet homepage

We’ve recently opened up Gazet to everyone. By building simple, elegant tools for a supportive community, we hope to establish a space on the web that puts human editors front and center, in a world dominated by anonymous algorithms.

I invite you to sign up, subscribe to a few editors, perhaps publish yourself, and join us in embracing slow news.

Mark Macdonald is the founder and developer of Gazet

Subscribe to his digest here: https://gazet.com/mark