Any consumer of news and current affairs can attest to the pace of the modern news cycle. Relentless 24-hour rolling news drives events as much as it reports them. We are given instant analysis, reportage merging with commentary and new angles to retain our interest in a story when the first flush has died. There sometimes exists a formulaic approach to news that can feed cynicism against media organisations. Why is it that some stories get told while others don’t?
The idea of breaking this mindset is hugely appealing, as are the voices who decide to do things a little differently. Paul Salopek has just embarked on one of the most ambitious projects imaginable, journalistic or otherwise. His Out of Eden Walk will retrace step by step, the path of our ancestors out of Africa roughly 60,000 years ago, producing slow journalism for National Geographic as he traverses a route across the Middle East, Asia and America over the next seven years.
This would still be an interesting project for an adventurer or professional traveller but the fact that it is being undertaken by a journalist signals something quite radical. There is a chance to hear stories that are passed over by the mainstream media, to look at the world on such a small scale that it just might reveal something larger about us all.