Last weekend everywhere I went people wanted to talk about the tragedy in Norway. I didn’t know much about it, just the bones of the story, but I found, as I always do, our fascination with it, perverse, and a bit grotesque.
I liked to think that in the best possible world, broadcasting the blow by blow coverage of distant tragedy connects us all with our shared humanity. But mostly it just seems ghoulish, and to borrow an old slogan, it’s like voting — it just encourages the bastards.
What I really want is someone doing in-depth, well researched and written coverage of news events 1-4 weeks after the event. When all the details are known, and sifted, and analyzed.
Not all stories lend themselves to this. That our government is derelict in its duty and will be defaulting this week isn’t a story that can wait weeks. But even a few days to pull together a decent body of reporting/facts/graphs/analysis rather than rehashed he-said-she-said-chest-beating-editorial would be nice.
Thinking a Kickstarter-esque funding model would work really well — pledge your interest in an ongoing story in real time giving the news organization a heads up that they should be paying attention and starting to research, if enough folks show interest, the story gets written. Won’t cover all types of reporting, but it certainly would be a hell of lot better then 90% of what we’ve got. (and give me a page where I can advertise my interests as a dodge to having to talk about the ridiculous pop news hype cycle, “Yeah, I’ve pledged to read about that in another 2 weeks, check out my Slow News page, let’s discuss it in depth, then, shall we?”)