is a progressive online magazine
that covers current affairs, politics, and culture in the United States. It is known, and sometimes criticized, for having adopted contrarian
views, giving rise to the term "Slate Pitches".
It has a generally liberal
It was created in 1996 by former New Republic
editor Michael Kinsley
, initially under the ownership of Microsoft
as part of MSN
. In 2004, it was purchased by The Washington Post Company
(later renamed the Graham Holdings Company), and since 2008 has been managed by The Slate Group
, an online publishing entity created by Graham Holdings. Slate
is based in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C.
, which is updated throughout the day, covers politics, arts and culture, sports, and news. According to its former editor-in-chief Julia Turner
, the magazine is "not fundamentally a breaking news source", but rather aimed at helping readers to "analyze and understand and interpret the world" with witty and entertaining writing.
As of mid-2015, it publishes about 1,500 stories per month.
A French version, slate.fr
, was launched in February 2009 by a group of four journalists, including Jean-Marie Colombani
, Eric Leser, and economist Jacques Attali
. Among them, the founders hold 50 percent in the publishing company, while The Slate Group holds 15 percent.
In 2011, slate.fr
started a separate site covering African news, Slate Afrique
, with a Paris-based editorial staff.
It is ad-supported and has been available to read free of charge since 1999, but restricted access for non-US readers via a metered paywall
features regular and semi-regular columns such as Explainer, Moneybox, Spectator, Transport
, and Dear Prudence
. Many of the articles are short (less than 2,000 words) and argument-driven. Around 2010, the magazine also began running long-form journalism. Many of the longer stories are an outgrowth of the "Fresca Fellowships", so-called because former editor Plotz liked the soft drink Fresca
. "The idea is that every writer and editor on staff has to spend a month or six weeks a year not doing their regular job, but instead working on a long, ambitious project of some sort," Plotz said in an interview.
introduced a paywall
-based business model in 1998 that attracted up 20,000 subscribers but was later abandoned.
A similar subscription model was implemented in April 2001 by Slate'
s independently owned competitor, Salon.com
started a daily feature, "Today's Pictures", on November 30, 2005, which featured 15–20 photographs from the archive at Magnum Photos
that share a common theme. The column also features two Flash animated
"Interactive Essays" a month.
The design of Slate's homepage from 2006 to 2013
On its 10th anniversary, Slate
unveiled a redesigned website. It introduced Slate V
an online video magazine with content that relates to or expands upon their written articles. In 2013, the magazine was redesigned under the guidance of design director Vivian Selbo
was nominated for four digital National Magazine Awards
in 2011 and won the NMA
for General Excellence. In the same year, the magazine laid off several high-profile journalists, including co-founder Jack Shafer
and Timothy Noah
(author of the Chatterbox
At the time, it had around 40 full-time editorial staff.
The following year, a dedicated ad sales team was created.
launched the "Slate Book Review" in 2012, a monthly books section edited by Dan Kois.
The next year, Slate
became profitable after preceding years had seen layoffs and falling ad revenues.
In 2014, Slate
introduced a paywall system
called "Slate Plus", offering ad-free podcasts and bonus materials. A year later, it had attracted 9,000 subscribers generating about $500,000 in annual revenue.
moved all content behind a metered paywall
for international readers in June 2015, explaining "our U.S.-based sales team sells primarily to domestic advertisers, many of whom only want to reach a domestic audience. ...The end result is that, outside the United States, we are not covering our costs."
At the same time, it was stated that there were no plans for a domestic paywall.
Slate's articles have presented news and opinions from a liberal perspective, eventually evolving into a self-proclaimed liberal news site.
Reputation for counterintuitive arguments ("Slate pitches")
Since 2006, Slate
has been known for publishing contrarian
pieces arguing against commonly held views about a subject, giving rise to the #slatepitches Twitter hashtag
The Columbia Journalism Review
has defined Slate pitches
as "an idea that sounds wrong or counterintuitive proposed as though it were the tightest logic ever," and in explaining its success wrote "Readers want to click on Slate Pitches because they want to know what a writer could possibly say that would support their logic".
In 2014, Slate'
s then editor-in-chief Julia Turner acknowledged a reputation for counterintuitive arguments forms part of Slate
's "distinctive" brand, but argued that the hashtag misrepresents the site's journalism. "We are not looking to argue that up is down and black is white for the sake of being contrarian against all logic or intellectual rigor. But journalism is more interesting when it surprises you either with the conclusions that it reaches or the ways that it reaches them."
In a 2019 article for the site, Slate
contributor Daniel Engber reflected on the changes that had occurred on the site since he started writing for it 15 years previously. He suggested that its original worldview, influenced by its founder Kinsley and described by Engber as "feisty, surprising, debate-club centrist-by-default" and "liberal contrarianism", had shifted towards "a more reliable, left-wing slant", whilst still giving space for heterodox opinions, albeit "tempered by other, graver duties". He argued that this was necessary within the context of a "Manichean age of flagrant cruelty and corruption", although he also acknowledged that it could be "a troubling limitation".
According to NiemanLab, Slate
has been involved in podcasts
"almost from the very beginning" of the medium.
Its first podcast offering, released on July 15, 2005,
featured selected stories from the site read by Andy Bowers, who had joined Slate
after leaving NPR
By June 2012, Slate
had expanded their lineup to 19 podcasts, with Political Gabfest
and Culture Gabfest
being the most popular.
This count had shrunk to 14 by February 2015, with all receiving six million downloads per month.
The podcasts are "a profitable part of [Slate'
s] business"; the magazine charges more for advertising in its podcasts than in any of its other content.
- Amicus – legal commentary
- Audio Book Club
- Culture Gabfest
- Daily Podcast – some of everything
- Decoder Ring – with Willa Paskin
- The Waves (formerly DoubleX) – women's issues
- Hang Up and Listen – sports
- Hit Parade – pop music history
- If Then - technology, Silicon Valley, and tech policy
- Lexicon Valley – language issues
- Manners for the Digital Age
- Mom and Dad Are Fighting – parenting
- Money – business and finance
- Political Gabfest
- Spoiler Specials – film discussion
- Studio 360 – pop culture and the arts, in partnership with Public Radio International
- The Gist
- Thirst Aid Kit
- Slow Burn
- Video Podcast
podcasts have gotten longer over the years. The original Gabfest
ran 15 minutes; by 2012, most ran about 45 minutes.
editor from 2002 until his designation as the chairman and editor-in-chief of The Slate Group in 2008. Weisberg's deputy editor David Plotz
then became editor until July 2014,
when he was replaced by Julia Turner
Turner resigned as editor of Slate
in October 2018.
The Washington Post Company's John Alderman is Slate's publisher.
- Lowen Liu (Deputy Editor)
- Josh Levin (Editorial Director)
- Allison Benedikt (Executive Editor)
- Laura Bennett (Features Director)
- Forrest Wickman (Culture Editor)
- Charlie Kammerer (Chief Revenue Officer)
Notable contributors and departments
Other recurring features
- Dear Prudence (advice column)
- Science Denial
- The Good Word (language)
- The Movie Club
- The TV Club
- Behold, Slate's photo blog
- Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog
- Crime, a crime blog
- Future Tense, a technology blog produced as part of a partnership between Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University
- Lexicon Valley, a blog about language
- Moneybox, Slate's business and economics blog
- Outward, Slate's LGBTQ blog
- The Eye, a design blog
- The Vault, Slate's history blog
- The World, a blog about foreign affairs
- Wild Things, Slate's animals blog
- XX Factor, a blog about women's issues. In 2009, it gave rise to Double X, launched by The Slate Group as a separate online magazine about women's topics, edited by Hanna Rosin and Emily Bazelon, which was folded back into a Slate.com section after half a year.
- ^ "Contrarianism's end?". The Economist. October 19, 2009.
- ^ a b Weisberg, Jacob (June 19, 2006). "What Makes Slate Slatey?". Slate. To be a Slatey writer, you must cut through the media welter [...] This can be done in a number of ways. [One] is to make the contrarian case that all the common assumptions about a subject are simply and hopelessly wrong.
- ^ a b Coscarelli, Joe (October 23, 2009). "Slate's Contrarian Ways Mocked On Twitter". Mediaite.
- ^ Blake, Aaron (October 21, 2014). "Ranking the media from liberal to conservative, based on their audiences". Washington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
- ^ Wolff, Michael. "No Jokes, Please, We're Liberal". VanityFair.com. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
- ^ Winter, Jessica (May 21, 2015). "Slate Isn't Too Liberal. But…". Slate. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- ^ "Slate Magazine: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- ^ a b c Levy, Nicole (September 30, 2014). "Long-serving deputy Julia Turner takes the reins at Slate". Capital New York. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- ^ a b "Unlimited FAQ". Slate. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- ^ "Interview: Jacob Weisberg, Chairman, Slate Group: Breaking Out of the Beltway". CBS News. February 15, 2009.
- ^ "Slate.fr: Jean-Marie Colombani à l'assaut du Web, actualité Tech & Net – Le Point". Le Point (in French). February 10, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- ^ "Slate Afrique". VoxEurop. June 20, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- ^ Levy, Dan (April 4, 2011). "Slate of Mind: Q&A with David Plotz". Sparksheet. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
- ^ a b Sawers, Paul (June 8, 2015). "Slate slides behind a metered paywall as global readers are asked to pay $5/month". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- ^ "Home". Slate V. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- ^ a b Farhi, Paul (August 24, 2011). "Slate magazine lays off Jack Shafer, Timothy Noah". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- ^ "'Slate' Gets a New Publisher". Adweek. August 27, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- ^ Bosman, Julie (March 1, 2012). "Slate to Begin a Monthly Review of Books". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 27, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- ^ Turner, Julia (June 7, 2015). "Hello, International Reader". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- ^ Goldenberg, Kira (October 16, 2014). "Stop trolling your readers". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
- ^ Engber, Daniel (January 8, 2019). "Free Thought for the Closed-Minded". Slate (magazine). Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- ^ a b c d e Phelps, Andrew (June 4, 2012). "Slate doubles down on podcasts, courting niche audiences and happy advertisers". Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- ^ "Slate's Podcasting Guide". Slate. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- ^ a b Owens, Simon (February 6, 2015). "Slate's podcast audience has tripled in a year, and its bet on audio over video continues to pay off". NiemanLab. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- ^ Plotz, David (July 14, 2014). "David Plotz Says Goodbye". Slate. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- ^ "A Toast to Julia Turner". Slate. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- ^ Peiser, Jaclyn (March 6, 2019). "Slate Picks a Skilled Storyteller as Its New Top Editor". New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- ^ a b Yoffe, Emily (November 12, 2015). "Don't Call It Closure". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- ^ Stelter, Brian (November 16, 2009). "Double X Is Folded Into Slate Magazine". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
Last edited on 11 March 2021, at 22:47
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