BethMellor’s Weblog

Postgraduate journalism, news and views.

Let’s all just slow down: The Danger of 24-hour News

with 3 comments


In the media, speed is everything. ‘Get the story, and get it first’ is what reporters are paid to do.

But, according to Charles S. Feldman and Howard Rosenberg, the speed of news delivery and the 24-hour news cycle has now become dangerously fast. Their new book, No Time To Think, argues that there is:

 “an insidious and increasing portion of the news media that, due to the dangerously extreme speed at which it is produced, is only half thought out, half true, and lazily repeated from anonymous sources interested in selling opinion and wild speculation as news.”

Mr. Feldman argued on Radio 4 this morning that the increasing speed of news delivery has also had an impact upon government leaders. There is so much media pressure to move the news agenda forwards that not only the public but also key decision-makers don’t have enough time to think about the gravity and consequences of events.

 If the Cuban missile crisis had happened today, he said, we may not have had the same outcome.

This increasing speed of news delivery – and the consequences of inaccurate and unreflective journalism – completely undermines the valuable role that the media play in society.

It seems to me that we have now come to a breaking point where news is practically instantaneous. Now, media providers need to concentrate not on skimming another second off their news delivery times, but on ensuring that the product they deliver has integrity. As with internet journalism; anyone can set up a news website or a blog, but it is the ones which are accurate and reliable which will – in the end – win out.

There’s a great excerpt from the book here.

Written by bethmellor

November 27, 2008 at 10:31 am

3 Responses

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  1. […] would recommend this great article that was published in the Sunday Times earlier in the year. And Beth Mellor has blogged on a new book that explores the pitfalls of the 24-hour news […]

  2. Thank you for mentioning my book on your blog…I hope you have a chance to read it and enjoy it,too.
    charles s feldman
    los angeles


    December 7, 2008 at 1:10 am

  3. But surely blogging and, even more, the feedback sections on blogs and news articles is a part of the 24 hour news issue? What responsibility do bloggers and the like have to ensure accuracy and act with integrity?


    February 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm

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