Slow journalism is making an effort to dig more deeply into stories, going beyond the headlines, and summaries that fly around the high-speed, high-tech world in an instant.
The fast pace of the modern lifestyle — born from high-speed, hand-held, wireless connectivity — has not only change the way we send, receive, and consume information, but has transformed the way journalist operate. This has led some of them to make a concerted effort to slow down and take a different tack.
“Slow journalism is deep journalism — journalism that is informed by deep immersion in the story at ground level,” explains National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek. As a foreign correspondent, Salopek has worked in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America.
Salopek is conducting an experiment in this modern expression of a timeless human pursuit. He’s engaging with the major stories of our time at the natural speed of his own footsteps as he retraces our ancestors’ migration from Africa to South America with his Out of Eden Walk.
Beginning in January 2013, Salopek takes the first of 30 million footsteps for the epic trek following the pathways of our ancestors. Along the way he’s not just looking for the latest news updates, he’s revealing the texture of the lives of people he encounters: nomads, villagers, traders, farmers, and fisherman who live within front-page stories, but normally don’t make the news themselves.
National Geographic invite us to pause and join this “digital campfire” discussion by watching the live video feed (to appear here) on Tuesday, January 13 at 6:30 PM EST. We can also ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #digitalcampfire.
“When everybody else is moving faster, and you slow down, you create an immediately fascinating way into your story that people don’t otherwise get in their lives.”