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Slow news costs lives! But does it always inform?

17 Feb

In 1815, more than 2000 people died at the Battle of New Orleans. Two weeks before. a peace treaty had been signed between Great Britain and the United States at the Treaty of Ghent.

But information had not still reached the US –it took two weeks for the news of the treaty to travel from Belgium.

But there’s an interesting counter to why slow news could be good news.  Some trends are not understood by the hourly trickle of news updates, as Alan Durning writes. He cites big issues such as pollution and urban sprawl as examples where slow news provides deeper knowledge of underlying issues. He uses a great quote from Ben Hecht to define this:

“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second-hand of a clock.”

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