Jill Abramson joins the Slow Journalism revolution

Nell Redmond/AP/Press Association Images

Nell Redmond/AP/Press Association Images

That there’s an appetite for long-form, considerate, slow journalism was never a matter of debate for us. So we were pleased to see former New York Times editor Jill Abramson announce she’s joining the Slow Journalism ranks with a new start-up.

Together with journalist Steven Brill, Abramson is looking to start a subscription-based platform that will produce “one perfect whale of a story” every month. “I want to be a spokeswoman for the slow-writing movement,”she recently told Quartz.

With her new venture, Abramson hopes to save the in-depth journalism threatened by the speed that’s been part and parcel of the digital age. “I’m seriously worried that the quality of writing has deteriorated,” she told Quartz.

The stories on Abramson’s outlet will be about 20,000 words each, and will be based on months of reporting. That’s a lot of work, but Abramson is keen to reward her writers handsomely, with payments averaging $100,000. She and Brill will be contributing as well, with “one killer piece a year”, she told Quartz.

There’s been a lot of talk about the seemingly astronomical fee, but Abramson is reluctant to comment on the economics of her start-up until she’s finalised a deal with investors. Not that she’s worried: “If you are offering the ability to deliver something that is qualitatively different, there are investors willing to jump into that space,” she said at a journalism symposium covered by Poynter.

Abramson and Brill have already received some pitches, but she made it clear she has no interest in covering subjects that already saturate the media. “We don’t want to be riding with the pack,” she told Quartz.

We know Abramson and Brill will create something powerful. Slow news is good news!

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