Getting Gratification: Delayed and Belated

Issue No. 30 of a quarterly. That means almost eight years of publication. Good on you, mates.

My new issue of Delayed Gratification just arrived, and it’s gorgeous. As you can see (below), the packaging is almost as pretty as the magazine.

I’ve been talking about this publication’s contribution to Slow Journalism for a few years. It’s hard to find hard copies in the U.S. outside of big cities, though. I had never held an issue in my hands before going to a Slow News summit at the University of Oregon this summer. I have finally, belatedly subscribed.

One of DG’s editors, Matthew Lee, talked about the Slow paradigm shift that people like us are nudging forward. Journalists from the local daily paper and alternative newsweekly also participated in the summit, as well as several scholars, educators and students.

The summit was organized by UO professor Peter Laufer, a Polk Award-winning investigative reporter and author of the vital book Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth about Food Labels. He explores what “organic” really means and whether products thus marketed really live up to the promise. It sent me scurrying to the pantry with a big Sharpie, to see how my nuts, rice, cereal and beans fared.

The Italian producers of a documentary about Slow News recorded the event for posterity. (I’ll write more about that next year when IK Produzioni releases the film.)

Gosh, this is just the envelope.

What makes DG “Slow,” you ask? The gist of their mission is: the editors wait three months to cover all the news from the previous quarter. Then, they put together a comprehensive summary and analysis of everything important and interesting that happened. With benefit of hindsight, they can help you understand what mattered and why.

Instead of following the news in a piecemeal fashion and being swamped with breaking news that lacks context, you can get the big picture from a trustworthy source. You could virtually ignore the news for months — skipping all the dubious or fake stuff — and still be comprehensively informed.

Designed Gratification is tactile, ad-free and built to last, with original artwork, beautiful photography and their famous infographics. (Just noticed that I accidentally typed “designed” gratification there instead of “delayed.” Freudian.) These publications are not planned for obsolescence, e.g. to become tomorrow’s trash.

Hope this doesn’t sound too swoon-y. I just get excited about groovy print projects like this. My curiosity is also piqued by Slightly Foxed, another quarterly British magazine with a similar vibe as DG and a more literary focus.