Slow Journalism and A Long Walk: Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden

On January 10th, 02013, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Paul Salopek will begin a seven year journey on foot from Ethiopia to Patagonia, following the footsteps of the first migration of humans across the planet 60,000 years ago. The journey will not be an easy one. It consists of 21,000 miles of wildly varying terrain and environments, with only what Salopek can fit in his backpack. Salopek will be writing “narrative core samples” every hundred miles to get an embedded, on-the-ground look at the issues that are defining our age.

The concept behind this journey is “Slow Journalism”, which Salopek describes best:

The sheer volume of news being generated from professional journalists, citizen journalists, from tweets and blogs or what have you, is nearly self-defeating. It’s a tsunami of information. It’s almost unprocessable. We don’t need more information. We need more meaning. … It takes great slowing down to see how the great global stories of our day, whether they be climate change, conflict, poverty, or mass migration, are interconnected. The world isn’t flat. It’s deeply corrugated. And some of the best stories lie hidden in the corrugations.

Salopek will be posting updates here, as well as on Twitter @PaulSalopek.

Salopek also created a short interactive media introduction to the project with the help of Long Now volunteer Ahmed Kabil.

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