The Mission Statement of the Faster Times
The print newspaper is in trouble. A lot of journalists joke about it. We don’t think it’s funny. Most of the writers and editors at The Faster Times have written for a print newspaper. They were our livelihoods, but they were also much more than our livelihoods. They were a way of pushing back the chaos of the modern world. Things happened, and the next day you could read about those things in your morning paper. The orderliness might have been an illusion, but it was a comforting illusion.
Time is always fast, but some times are faster than others. For American journalism, these are faster times.
A few years ago, a daily accounting of the news still felt sufficient. Now, by the time our newspapers arrive on our doorsteps, we already know what they will say. This, of course, is not news. Everyone recognizes that the medium of the daily newspaper is too slow for our faster world. But the slowness itself is not the fundamental crisis facing American journalism. If speed is the solution, then the problem has already been solved. We have all of the blog posts and tweets we will ever need right now.
The crisis of American journalism is, instead, a financial crisis. Opinions posted on blogs are cheap. Great journalism is expensive. So, the question is not whether there is a way to keep up with the constant appetite for news, but whether there is a way to keep up without foregoing great writing and reporting.
There will be many different answers to the questions facing the journalism industry in the coming years. Our answer is The Faster Times, a new type of newspaper for a new type of world.
The Faster Times is a collective of great journalists who have come together to try something new. As we launch this July, we will have more than a hundred correspondents in over 20 countries. We have someone on the ground in Kenya and someone else reporting from Lebanon. Our arts section will cover not just film and books, but also theater and dance and photography. We will launch with seven writers on books alone. These writers are not “citizen journalists” but among the most accomplished and recognized names in their respective fields.
We’re not kidding ourselves. The Faster Times is not going to solve any major crises by itself. We are an organization owned and created by journalists. We have not sought any funding and, for the time being, we have very limited financial resources.
But while our limited resources will limit the number of reported pieces on the site in our first months of operation, we have no intention of shying away from the challenge. Our goal is to do what great papers have always done: look at the world with skeptical eyes and uncover information that the public needs to know. We will not, in most cases, be publishing 1200-word reported pieces, but we will be making calls and asking hard questions. And when our reporters discover something of interest, they will publish it and invite our readers to help push the story forward with their tips and insights.
Of course, these are not just faster times. They are also stranger times. And a quick look at The Faster Times will reveal that, despite the seriousness of our intentions, we also have a great appreciation for the not-so-serious. In our “Nonsense” section, we will have coverage of pro-wrestling and also a writer dedicated entirely to feet. In our Tech section, you can find not only great writing on the computer industry but also regular reports from our jetpacks correspondent.
We hope you’ll join us for this experiment in journalism. We are not sure what’s going to happen, but we are sure that we need new approaches. Time is of the essence.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
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