Slate (magazine)

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Slate (magazine)
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{{short description|U.S.-based online magazine}}{{Italic title}}

, {{urlweblink}}| commercial = Yes| type = Online magazine| registration = Optional for Slate Plus and commenting only (US readers)Metered paywall (non-US readers)| language =| num_users =| content_license =| owner = The Slate Group| editor = Jared Hohlt| author = Michael Kinsley201828PUBLISHER= ALEXA INTERNET, June 28, 2018, | political = | issn = 1090-6584| eissn = 1091-2339| oclc = 728292344| current_status = Active| footnotes =| name = Slate| logocaption =}}Slate is an online magazine that covers current affairs, politics, and culture in the United States. It is known—and sometimes criticized—for adopting contrarian views, giving rise to the term "Slate Pitches".NEWS, Contrarianism's end?,weblink The Economist, October 19, 2009, MAGAZINE, Weisberg, Jacob, What Makes Slate Slatey?,weblink Slate, June 19, 2006, 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., NEWS, Coscarelli, Joe, Slate’s Contrarian Ways Mocked On Twitter,weblink Mediaite, October 23, 2009, It has a generally liberal editorial stance.WEB,weblink Ranking the media from liberal to conservative, based on their audiences, Aaron, Blake, October 21, 2014, Washington Post, August 31, 2017, WEB,weblink No Jokes, Please, We're Liberal, Michael, Wolff,, August 31, 2017, WEB, Winter, Jessica, Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But…,weblink Slate, 21 September 2017, 21 May 2015, 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.WEB, Slate Magazine: Private Company Information - Businessweek,weblink, July 2, 2015, Slate, 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.NEWS,weblink Long-serving deputy Julia Turner takes the reins at Slate, Levy, Nicole, September 30, 2014, Politico, Capital New York, September 30, 2014, As of mid-2015, it publishes about 1,500 stories per month.WEB, Unlimited FAQ,weblink Slate, July 2, 2015,weblink July 3, 2015, yes, mdy-all, A French version,, 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.NEWS,weblink CBS News, Interview: Jacob Weisberg, Chairman, Slate Group: Breaking Out of the Beltway, February 15, 2009, MAGAZINE,weblink Jean-Marie Colombani à l'assaut du Web, actualité Tech & Net – Le Point, Le Point, February 10, 2009, April 28, 2013, French, In 2011, started a separate site covering African news, Slate Afrique, with a Paris-based editorial staff.WEB, Slate Afrique,weblink July 2, 2015, VoxEurop, June 20, 2012, 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 in 2015.


Slate 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.WEB, Tyranny, The,weblink Slate of Mind: Q&A with David Plotz, Sparksheet, April 4, 2011, April 28, 2013, Slate introduced a paywall-based business model in 1998 that attracted up 20,000 subscribers but was later abandoned.WEB, Slate slides behind a metered paywall as global readers are asked to pay $5/month,weblink VentureBeat, July 2, 2015, June 8, 2015, Sawers, Paul, A similar subscription model was implemented in April 2001 by Slate{{'}}s independently owned competitor, 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.(File:Slate screenshot.png|thumb|right|The design of Slate{{'}}s homepage from 2006 to 2013) On its 10th anniversary, Slate unveiled a redesigned website. It introduced Slate V in 2007,WEB,weblink Home, Slate V, April 28, 2013, 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.Slate 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 column).NEWS, Slate magazine lays off Jack Shafer, Timothy Noah,weblink The Washington Post, August 24, 2011, July 12, 2015, 0190-8286, en, Farhi, Paul, At the time, it had around 40 full-time editorial staff. The following year, a dedicated ad sales team was created.NEWS, 'Slate' Gets a New Publisher,weblink July 12, 2015, Adweek, August 27, 2012, Slate launched the "Slate Book Review" in 2012, a monthly books section edited by Dan Kois.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2013, Slate to Begin a Monthly Review of Books, March 1, 2012, Bosman, Julie, The New York Times, April 28, 2013, 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.Slate 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."NEWS, Hello, International Reader,weblink Slate, June 7, 2015, June 7, 2015, 1091-2339, Turner, Julia, 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 in 2009. 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".MAGAZINE,weblink Stop trolling your readers, October 16, 2014, October 16, 2014, Columbia Journalism Review, Goldenberg, Kira, 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".WEB,weblink Free Thought for the Closed-Minded, Engber, Daniel, 8 January 2019, Slate (magazine), 9 January 2019,


{{see also|Panoply Media}}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,WEB, Slate's Podcasting Guide,weblink Slate, August 3, 2012, featured selected stories from the site read by Andy Bowers, who had joined Slate after leaving NPR in 2003.WEB, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Slate doubles down on podcasts, courting niche audiences and happy advertisers,weblink Phelps, Andrew, June 4, 2012, April 28, 2013, NEWS,weblink Slate’s podcast audience has tripled in a year, and its bet on audio over video continues to pay off, Owens, Simon, February 6, 2015, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, NiemanLab, February 6, 2015, 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.{{div col|colwidth=20em}}
  • Amicus – legal commentary
  • Audio Book Club
  • Culture Gabfest
  • Daily Podcast – some of everything
  • 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
  • Slow Burn
  • Video Podcast
  • Trumpcast
{{div col end}}Slate podcasts have gotten longer over the years. The original Gabfest ran 15 minutes; by 2012, most ran about 45 minutes.


Jared Hohlt became editor-in-chief on April 1, 2019.NEWS, Peiser, Jaclyn, Slate Picks a Skilled Storyteller as Its New Top Editor,weblink 7 March 2019, New York Times, 6 March 2019, Julia Turner replaced David Plotz in July 2014 and resigned in October 2018.MAGAZINE,weblink A Toast to Julia Turner, Slate, 18 February 2019, Plotz had been editor of Slate since 2008MAGAZINE, Plotz, David, David Plotz Says Goodbye,weblink Slate, July 14, 2014, July 14, 2014, and deputy editor to Jacob Weisberg, Slate's editor from 2002 until his designation as the chairman and editor-in-chief of The Slate Group. The Washington Post Company's John Alderman is Slate{{'}}s publisher.

Key executives

  • 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

{{div col|colwidth=23em}} {{div col end}}

Past contributors

{{div col|colwidth=15em}} {{div col end}}

Other recurring features

{{div col|colwidth=20em}}
  • Assessment
  • Books
  • Dear Prudence (advice column)
  • Dispatches
  • Drink
  • Food
  • Foreigners
  • Gaming
  • Science Denial
  • Shopping
  • The Good Word (language)
  • The Movie Club
  • The TV Club
{{div col end}}


  • 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 section after half a year.NEWS, Double X Is Folded Into Slate Magazine,weblink July 12, 2015, Stelter, Brian, The New York Times, November 16, 2009,

Summary columns



External links


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