[csaa-forum] REMINDER: Media at Sydney, Slow journalism and the recovery of attention, Megan Le Masurier, 16 May

Cesar Albarran Torres cesar.albarrantorres at sydney.edu.au
Thu May 8 08:29:36 CST 2014

Media at Sydney presents

Slow journalism and the recovery of attention

Dr Megan Le Masurier (University of Sydney)

In his existential mathematics of memory, the novelist Milan Kundera suggests that ‘the degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting’ (1996).

Before we can forget however there has to be something to remember.

In terms of the world beyond our everyday lives, journalism is a key mediator of information, some of it puerile and forgettable, some of it critical to our political, cultural and social lives. It has been argued that the speed of much contemporary journalism, in its instantaneous communications via proliferating media platforms to an already information-saturated public, overwhelms our capacity to attend – to listen, select, concentrate, and finally to remember. Surfeit and speed allow information to enter short term but not long term memory (Klingberg). We lose the ability to discriminate and to focus on what really matters in this abundance of information.  Journalists, too, operate at such intense velocity that context and perspective disappear. The driver of most journalism –immediacy– needs to be radically questioned. As Stuart Brand warns, ‘the price of staying perfectly current is the loss of cultural memory’ (2003).

There has been a counter-trend, however, in the resurgence of slower approaches and formats – both in long form journalism and its traditional home, the magazine, and especially in media made by independent producers. Slow journalism asks the question: how much news do we really need? And, when do we need it? This talk will look at many different examples of slow journalism emerging around the world, in print and online. It will argue that slower journalism can create a contemplative space of quality and pleasure that encourages attention and allows the life force of cultural memory to be sustained and absorbed.

Date: Friday 16th May, 2014
Time: 15:00-16:30
Location: S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney, John Woolley Building (A20)<http://db.auth.usyd.edu.au/directories/map/building.stm?ref=d08h15> level 2, entry off Manning Road.
Register at http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/slow-journalism-and-the-recovery-of-attention-megan-le-masurier-tickets-11311148951

Dr Megan Le Masurier began working for the Department of Media and Communications in 2005 and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs. She worked in the magazine industry for many years (as journalist and editor). She is currently researching and writing a book on Magazines, Journalism and Everyday Life, and co-editing another on the radical potential of Slow.

Media at Sydney is presented by the
Department of Media and Communications<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/>, University of Sydney

For more information contact
Dr Fiona Martin
T: 0428391122 or 02 90365098
E: fiona.martin at sydney.edu.au<UrlBlockedError.aspx> <mailto:fiona.martin at sydney.edu.au>
M: 0428 391 122

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