Spencer Bailey on the need for “slow media”


For the second installment of our “Further Thoughts” series in the 2018 Transformation Issue of Directions, Spencer Bailey, a renowned journalist who currently serves as the editor in chief of Surface and editorial director of Surface Media, discusses the changing media landscape and the need for a new kind of coverage.

“We need media that allows people to slow down, to turn inward.” – Spencer Bailey

“People tend to associate transformation with things that are faster, bigger, taller. But I actually think transformation can be something that happens when you slow down. If you look back to the slow food movement, it’s something that is now used for marketing and buzz-speak unfortunately, but the intent is really important, and it’s about understanding where your food
comes from, how your food is made, enjoying
the food that you consume.

“I think you can apply this idea to media, because in media right now everything’s all about digital, video, getting someone to click. But I think we need media that allows people to slow down, to turn inward, and to think about things on a deeper level. They are taking the time to consume that thing, because that thing came from a place of great integrity, of intent. The reporting was done. The story was fact checked. Everything was done to a level of quality that is expected by a person who cares about what they consume.

“It is almost the equivalent of eating at a farm-to-table restaurant, but instead of eating with your mouth, you’re eating with your eyes. And in that sense, I think understanding the ‘who,’ not the ‘how many,’ is going to be very important. I think creating a trusted environment, sort of a safe space, in the world of so much noise, that’s how you can find a really dedicated audience.”


The preceding is excerpted from an article in the 2018 edition of Directions, the magazine by Design Hotels—more than 200 pages of vividly illustrated travel content by leading writers, photographers, illustrators, and designers. This year’s ‘Transformation Issue’ looks at various movements underway in the world of art, design, food, wellness, and fashion and how they are changing the way we travel. Buy it here for €10 or get a complimentary copy when you order the 2018 Design Hotels Book. 

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018