The Daylighter is on hiatus

It’s interesting to see our site and articles getting traffic despite the fact that The Daylighter has been on hiatus for more than a year.

We don’t expect that to change anytime soon. While we’d love to forge ahead with a new program of original, magazine-style reporting, the financing and audience volume isn’t there.

Where we’re coming from

From August 2018 through July 2020, The Daylighter published aggregated news briefs most weekdays, covering environment and ecology, human rights, economy, elections, corruption and more.

When COVID-19 swept the globe, we delivered daily and weekly coverage of the pandemic’s impacts worldwide — and how communities were learning to respond.

When the killing of George Floyd sparked a massive protest movement across the United States, The Daylighter was ready with ongoing coverage of race and society around the nation and around the globe.

Then, in early June, our aggregation editor Mark Bonta turned in a stellar, long-form report on #blacklivesmatter protests in his home town in central Pennsylvania.

Pivot to magazine-style reporting

On its first day on our front page, Mark’s original reportage — an insightful, sweeping portrait of a semi-rural enclave caught in overlapping economic, demographic and social-justice tides — got more traffic than a week’s worth of his meticulously researched aggregation items.

To this day, Mark’s original reportage remains one of The Daylighter’s most-visited articles — a revelatory thing for an editor to witness.

We love news aggregation. But producing a good aggregated news product is time consuming and can seem like a zero-sum game when you’re competing — on a shoestring budget — with multi-billion-dollar search engines and social-media news feeds.

Faced with this status quo, we shut down aggregation, and hope to retool our operations to support a new program of original, long-form coverage of our core beats of human rights, democratic participation, accountability, environment, and local self-reliance.

Big picture, the 24/7 news cycle and the hyper-saturated attention economy are brutal arenas for journalists — and for everyone else.

Slow media for democracy

For journalists and editors, keeping up with the attention economy can all too often result in overtaxed staffers and cheap clickbait.

For news-seekers, a steady diet of doomscrolling, digital obsessions and compulsive clicking can be downright harmful to heart, soul and society.

Who needs it? Slow media is a healthy, civic-minded alternative with a clear set of principles that we endorse wholeheartedly.

We do hope to relaunch The Daylighter as something that looks more like a periodical and less like a news wire. But in the meantime, there’s plenty of worthwhile news out there (INN and LION are good places to start) that’s deserving of your attention.

Go and find it.

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