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Fast paced world breeds fast paced news

Fast Journalism: Speed or Quality?

Fast Journalism: Speed or Quality?

Newspapers and the nightly TV news used to be the fastest means of coverage, however the emerging digital age is seeing the development of “fast journalism”. This is the idea that journalism in the modern era is more focused on speed rather than accuracy, as the sooner the news breaks, the more traffic is generated; and whilst the information mustn’t always be accurate, the timeliness seems to be the main scrutiny.


Everyone knows that journalism is a game of speed and accuracy. The online sector benefits from the ability to link from one story to the next – a feature print media cannot achieve – and this aids in the ongoing development of the story. A headline can break immediately with preliminary information and rumours, whilst the actual story is being written. This “fast and true” journalism has resulted in the current trend of aggregated and annotated news stories, whereby the writer “links, attributes, and adds value” – thus finishing with an altered story of their own.


The benefits to having the initial information in the market is obvious: generating readers. Whilst this is key, the important factor is in getting the information they are reading to be correct. An eternal aim in the investigative media world is to “Get it Fast, But Get it Right.” News-writers and journalists alike are keen to drill into students that quality and speed are equally significant.


However, an emphasis on speed will inherently limit the amount of valid and accurate information the story can contain. “Instantaneous everything” is leading the media to be lacking the type of critical analysis it is needed for – any regular citizen can gather the basics from an image or quote. And whilst the analysis is lacking, the descriptions themselves are susceptible to inaccuracy in the quest for being the first report outputted.


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