“There is a real window of interest when people want to know something,” (...) “And that window slams shut pretty quickly in the media cycle.”
I wonder whether fast-paced book publishing can produce thorough, quality, well-written accounts of current affairs, simply because the author has to produce plenty of words to fill the pages. And is the book format the best one to serve audiences who want in-depth, contextual information about a current, newsworthy topic? Is this mode of publishing to non-fiction what Metro is to conventional nation-wide or regional newspapers?
I also think there's a certain parallel to academic publishing, too. I would really like my work to be current and relevant. I think it is the responsibility of scholars to take part in ongoing public debates. I salute online journals like the International Journal of Communication for being platforms for timely analyses. Yet, sometimes time (and lots of it) is needed for an article -- or a book -- to develop into a many-sided, wise, reflective, useful commentary or vision.
My prediction is that there will be a 'slow-publishing' and 'slow-journalism' movement, parallel to slow-food movement. The race for 'real time' and short Twitter-style commentaries in all media will make well-researched, well-written, well-edited essays and reportage delightful delicacies that more and more audience members will want to savour as special treats. And hopefully the movement will be embraced beyond few elite gourmands, especially via new forms of public media and new non-profit journalism efforts (as this current article by the Nieman Journalism Lab @Harvard may lead to expect).