Pulitzer Center Update

Teaching 'Slow Journalism in a Fast World'

May 12, 2017|

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Don Belt (center), professor and university outreach director for the "Out of Eden" project, speaks to students and lecturers about international journalism at University of California, Berkeley. Image by Lauren Shepherd. United States, 2017.

Don Belt (center), professor and university outreach director for the "Out of Eden" project, speaks to students and lecturers about international journalism at University of California, Berkeley. Image by Lauren Shepherd. United States, 2017.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek’s decade-long, 21,000-mile walk around the world is an epic exercise in slowly experiencing and understanding the unfamiliar. Although most college students cannot partake in such grand adventures, Don Belt, who worked with Salopek at National Geographic and is now an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Richmond, has created a curriculum that places students in local communities and teaches slow, narrative journalism. 

In his course called "Slow Journalism in a Fast World," students are encouraged to physically explore and contemplate their local community in order to discover new questions and answers. With the success of his students' reporting, Belt has encouraged other educators in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center to similarly use Salopek’s work in the classroom. In turn, students from universities across the country have replicated Salopek’s techniques and practiced more measured and intimate journalism. 

Read Belt’s reflections on his course, which he initiated while at Virginia Commonwealth University, and its expansion the University of Richmond and other universities in this article for National Geographic's Out of Eden Walk website.