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Big Revolution - Can 'steady and slow' win the audience?

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Welcome to Tuesday's newsletter, sent from the back of a taxi as I race to send it out to you before
 
July 2 · Issue #460 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s newsletter, sent from the back of a taxi as I race to send it out to you before I get to a meeting.
— Martin in Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Elizabeth Holmes’ damage limitation strategy? Blame the journalist. Bloomberg reports that Holmes’ team is hoping that casting doubt over the working methods of the reporter who uncovered Theranos’ misdeeds will keep her out of jail. This seems desperate.
  • One of the co-founders of Wikipedia wants everyone to stay off social media on Thursday and Friday this week. Dr Larry Sanger has called a ‘strike’ to pressure social media firms to return control of personal data to users.
  • The cigar-shaped object that passed Earth in 2017 probably wasn’t an alien spacecraft, scientists have concluded. That said, they still don’t know what it was.
The big thought
Steady and slow... like a tortoise. Credit: Nick Abrams on Unsplash
Steady and slow... like a tortoise. Credit: Nick Abrams on Unsplash
Can ‘steady and slow’ win the audience?
Personal experience is no solid guide to trends, but I find myself speaking to increasing numbers of people who have largely checked out of closely following the news. These are generally smart people, but they find the news too depressing, or complicated, or simply too distracting to bother following day-to-day.
Emily Bell explored the issue of people who reject news in a piece on the Guardian’s website on Sunday.
“According to the recent Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s annual digital news report, about an average 32% of people regularly avoid the news, up from 29% in 2018. In the UK, news avoidance soared between 2017 and 2019 by 11 percentage points 'mainly due to the intractable and polarising nature of Brexit.’”
Bell discusses how some news organisations in the US and UK are starting to reach out to audiences in new ways, through events and tours.
Personally, I’ve managed to stay engaged with news by cutting down my consumption of breaking news reports. I now read a lot less as it happens about what politician [x] has said, or what disaster has affected some distant part of the world. Getting on with your own life is incredibly difficult if your head is filled with other people’s problems, being pelted at you through Twitter and push notifications.
Instead, I try to watch a news bulletin on TV in the evening, and then read more deeply online about the stories I want to know more about. I don’t always manage it, but when it works, it really helps.
This discipline has had to come from myself, but I do wonder if more news organisations couldn’t benefit from thinking less about volume and speed, and more about keeping their audiences (and let’s face it, their journalists) sane with a steadier pace.
Tortoise is often held up as an example of 'slow news’ done well, but one in-depth story per day is maybe a little too slow for many people.
Still, while 'steady and slow’ might not be the way to win people back to news, it might stop more leaving.
One big read
Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs
What is it like to port an iPad app to the Mac? This article talks to people already using Apple’s Project Catalyst to find out what ‘the future of Mac software’ is like in practice.
One big tweet
Tim Cook uses an email to an NBC reporter to fire back against the Wall Street Journal’s claims about why Jony Ive left Apple.
Dylan Byers
Exclusive: In scathing email, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells me the @WSJ report about Jony Ive’s departure — and his frustration with Cook’s alleged lack of interest in design — is “absurd.” Says reporting and conclusions "don’t match with reality.”

Full story coming soon @NBCNewshttps://t.co/QX9L4MvjFs
9:59 PM - 1 Jul 2019
That’s all for today...
Back in your inbox tomorrow. See you then!
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