Project name: Slow Journalism in a Fast World: The Out of Eden Walk
University: University of Richmond (UR)
Semester offered: Spring 2019
Class involved: JOUR 370: “Slow Journalism in a Fast World: The Out of Eden Walk ”
“Slow Journalism in a Fast World: The Out of Eden Walk ” is a semester-long course offered by the Journalism department of the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA.
The course is open to students of Journalism, Geography, Environmental Science, Anthropology, English, International Studies and other departments as space allows. This is an intensive seminar course, with off-campus fieldwork required, in which students develop their multimedia storytelling skills by using Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk project as a model.
Taught by Don Belt, former senior editor of National Geographic, this is the first university-level course devoted to the Out of Eden Walk’s ground-breaking experiment in digital journalism. Our class, like the Walk, is designed to explore the creative frontiers of Slow Journalism, a movement away from the super-fast, superficial coverage that dominates modern news media, and towards a more in-depth, deliberate, mindful approach to narrative storytelling using the latest tools of digital technology.
Students apply the lessons of Salopek’s project to a walk of their own in the Richmond area. They learn to build compelling narratives using a full range of skills: story development, pitching, reporting, writing, photography, videography, mapping, social media, web design, and platform building.
This year’s course focused on the James River, with topics including the environment, river culture, art, and more. Students produced multimedia projects on a class website, including interviews, maps, and other forms of storytelling.