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Slow Media: Why

Slow Media: Why "Slow" Is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart



Today we recognize that we have a different relationship to media technology—and to information more broadly—than we had even five years ago. We are connected to the news media, to our jobs, and to each other, 24 hours a day. But many people have found their mediated lives to be too fast, too digital, too disposable, and too distracted. This group—which includes many technologists and young people—believes that current practices of digital media production and consumption are unsustainable, and works to promote alternate ways of living.

Until recently, sustainable media practices have been mostly overlooked, or thought of as a counterculture. But, as Jennifer Rauch argues in this book, the concept of sustainable media has taken hold and continues to gain momentum. Slow media is not merely a lifestyle choice, she argues, but has potentially great implications for our communities and for the natural world. In eight chapters, Rauch offers a model of sustainable media that is slow, green, and mindful. She examines the principles of the Slow Food movement—humanism, localism, simplicity, self-reliance, and fairness—and applies them to the use and production of media. Challenging the perception that digital media is necessarily eco-friendly, she examines green media, which offers an alternative to a current commodities system that produces electronic waste and promotes consumption of nonrenewable resources. Lastly, she draws attention to mindfulness in media practice— "mindful emailing" or "contemplative computing," for example—arguing that media has significant impacts on human health and psychological wellbeing.

Slow Media will ultimately help readers understand the complex and surprising relationships between everyday media choices, human well-being, and the natural world. It has the potential to transform the way we produce and use media by nurturing a media ecosystem that is more satisfying for people, and more sustainable for the planet.



Publication Date



Oxford University Press


New York, NY


Arts and Humanities | Communication Technology and New Media | Critical and Cultural Studies | Environmental Studies | Human Ecology | Mass Communication | Social Media | Sustainability


Description, cover image, and reviews courtesy of Oxford University Press.

Subject Areas

Mass media -- Social aspects; Mass media and technology; Mass media and culture; Mass media and the environment; Sustainability

Author/Editor Bio

Jennifer Rauch is Visiting Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Linfield University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Indiana University Bloomington, a Master of Journalism from Temple University, and a B.A. in Mass Communication and French from Pennsylvania State University.


"In a landscape where infinite acceleration has become the default way of developing technology, doing business, and running an economy, Jennifer Rauch sees a growing number of people pushing back against the mandate to scale. Here is a compelling argument for why less is more, and how media can once again promote human existence more proportioned to human beings." - Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed, Present Shock, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

"In this insightful book, Jennifer Rauch prompts us to reflect on mediated communication and digital media through a critique of speed in daily life. She persuasively argues that slow media enable deep thinking about technological progress, contemporary 'connected' culture and online relations. This is a powerful corrective to media scholarship that increasingly takes the online world for granted." - Chris Atton, Professor of Media and Culture, Ediburgh Napier University, and author of An Alternative Internet and Alternative Journalism

"We can long for glue pots and wire tickers that tick away in newsroom corners, or we can read books like Rauch's and come to grips with a new philosophy on how to do things differently, and maybe better and smarter before the news biz dies." - J. Marren, Buffalo State College

Slow Media: Why