Nine Reasons Why You Have to Become a Member of The Faster Times Right Now
Need a reason to become a member of The Faster Times? Here are nine:
9. We’ve invented a new form of interactive journalism. First readers vote on a topic they want us to investigate, and then our reporter works together with readers to uncover important stories. Read about it in the Columbia Journalism Review.
7. Members of The Faster Times receive the sort of great gifts you might expect, including New Yorker magazine subscriptions and Faster Times tote bags. But that’s just the beginning. In addition, we’re offering a wide assortment of bonus gifts – including answers to great philosophical questions and personalized erotic fiction. (Note: This is not a joke.)
6. You get to choose a favorite writer during the sign-up process, and that writer will receive 70 percent of the earnings — meaning your membership is a vote for the content you enjoy most. The more money a writer makes from this program, the more he or she will be able to write for The Faster Times.
5. We’re a collective of journalists. There are no millionaires behind The Faster Times calling the shots. What you see is what you get: a group of smart and funny journalists who are trying to create a new journalism model in the face of a genuine crisis moment for the news business. We’ve been doing this for almost a year now, and it’s tough to make much money from ads. This membership program is crucial to our continued growth.
4. We have correspondents in India and Egypt and Scandinavia and lots and lots of other places around the world. As you can read in this New York Times Magazine feature, The Faster Times is very different from most other new Web-based publications. Our goal is not to maximize the number of pageviews. (If it were, we would not have an Armenia correspondent.) Our goal is to create a smart and well-written online newspaper that actually pays writers for their hard work.
3. We have an entire section dedicated to bathrooms.
1. We made this completely insane video when we launched the site last July:
Cool, no? Then please become a freakin’ member already!
Still not convinced? Read our mission statement…
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 forgoing 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.
The Faster Times is a new type of newspaper for a new type of world.
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