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Slate (magazine)

slate magazine dear prudence, slate magazine submissions
Optional for Slate Plus and commenting only US readers

Metered paywall non-US readers Launched 1996; 20 years ago 1996 Current status Active

Slate is an English-language online current affairs, politics and culture magazine in the United States It was created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN On 21 December 2004, it was purchased by The Washington Post Company, later renamed the Graham Holdings Company Since 4 June 2008, Slate has been managed by The Slate Group, an online publishing entity created by the Graham Holdings Company to develop and manage web-only magazines Slate is based in New York City, with an additional office in Washington DC

A French version slatefr 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% in the publishing company, while The Slate Group holds 15% In 2011, slatefr started a separate site covering African news, Slate Afrique, with a Paris-based editorial staff

In July 2014, Julia Turner replaced David Plotz, who had been editor of Slate since 2008 Plotz had been the 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

Slate ISSN 1091-2339, which is updated daily, covers politics, arts and culture, sports, and news According to 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 1500 stories per month Slate is known and sometimes criticized for adopting contrarian positions, giving rise to the term "Slate Pitches" 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


  • 1 Background
    • 11 Reputation for counterintuitive arguments "Slate pitches"
  • 2 Podcasts
  • 3 Notable contributors and their departments
  • 4 Other recurring features
    • 41 Blogs
    • 42 Summary columns
  • 5 Past notable contributors
  • 6 Company overview
    • 61 Key executives
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Slate features regular and semi-regular columns such as Explainer, Moneybox, Spectator, Transport, and Dear Prudence Many of the articles are short under 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 In the context of a 2014 reader discussion, it was stated that the magazine is perceived to have "left-liberal leanings"

In 1998, Slate introduced a paywall-based business model that attracted up 20,000 subscribers but was abandoned afterwards A similar subscription model would later be implemented by Slate's independently owned competitor, Saloncom, in April 2001

On November 30, 2005, Slate started a daily feature ”Today's Pictures”, featuring fifteen to twenty 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

In June 2006, on its tenth anniversary, Slate unveiled a redesigned website In 2007, 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

In 2011, Slate was nominated for four digital National Magazine Awards 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 At the time, it had around 40 full-time editorial staff The following year, a dedicated ad sales team was created

In 2012, Slate launched the Slate Book Review, a monthly books section edited by Dan Kois

In 2013, 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 as well as some bonus materials A year later, it had attracted 9,000 subscribers generating about $500,000 in annual revenue

In June 2015, Slate started moving all content behind a metered paywall for international readers, explaining that "our US-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

Reputation for counterintuitive arguments "Slate pitches"

Since at least 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 explained their success as follows: "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 editor-in-chief Julia Turner acknowledged that 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"


Slate has been involved in podcasts "almost from the very beginning" of the medium according to NiemanLab, beginning to offer a podcast on July 15, 2005 that featured selected stories from the site read by Andy Bowers, who had joined Slate after leaving NPR in 2003

The site now hosts several regular podcast "gabfests", or roundtables, covering various topics The Political Gabfest was the first, hosted by John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon and David Plotz Later, a Culture Gabfest was added The sports podcast, Hangup and Listen, is the most recent addition "Slate's Spoiler Special", reviews movies for people who have already seen them By June 2012, Slate had 19 podcasts, with its Political Gabfest and Culture Gabfest the most popular In February 2015, they numbered around 14, receiving 6 million downloads per month

  • Amicus legal commentary
  • Audio Book Club
  • Culture Gabfest
  • Daily Podcast some of everything
  • DoubleX women's issues
  • Hang Up and Listen sports
  • Lexicon Valley language issues
  • Manners for the Digital Age
  • Mom and Dad Are Fighting parenting
  • Political Gabfest
  • Spoiler Specials film
  • The Gist
  • Video Podcast

Slate podcasts have gotten longer over the years The original Gabfest was 15 minutes; by 2012, most were about 45 minutes They are "a profitable part of the business"; Slate charges more for advertisement in podcasts than for any of its other content

Notable contributors and their departments

  • Anne Applebaum Foreigners
  • John Dickerson Politics
  • Simon Doonan Fashion
  • Stefan Fatsis Hang Up and Listen
  • Fred Kaplan War Stories
  • Dahlia Lithwick Jurisprudence
  • Farhad Manjoo Technology
  • Michael Moran Reckoning / Foreign Policy
  • Timothy Noah The Customer
  • Meghan O'Rourke The Highbrow / Grieving
  • Mallory Ortberg Dear Prudence, since 2015
  • Mike Pesca The Gist
  • Robert Pinsky Poetry editor
  • Phil Plait Bad Astronomy / Science
  • Ron Rosenbaum Spectator
  • William Saletan Human Nature
  • Jack Shafer Press Box
  • Eliot Spitzer The Best Policy
  • Mike Steinberger Drink
  • Dana Stevens Surfergirl through 2005/Movies
  • Seth Stevenson Ad Report Card / Well-Traveled
  • Julia Turner Editor in chief
  • Tom Vanderbilt Transport
  • Jacob Weisberg The Big Idea
  • Tim Wu Technology/Jurisprudence
  • Emily Yoffe Dear Prudence - until 2015 -, Human Guinea-pig

Other recurring features

  • Assessment
  • Books
  • Dear Prudence advice column
  • Dispatches
  • Drink
  • Food
  • Foreigners
  • Gaming
  • Science
  • Shopping
  • 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 Slatecom section after half a year

Summary columns

  • Slatest news aggregator

Past notable contributors

  • Emily Bazelon
  • Ian Bremmer
  • Phil Carter
  • David Edelstein
  • Franklin Foer
  • Sasha Frere-Jones
  • Atul Gawande
  • Austan Goolsbee
  • Robert Lane Greene
  • Virginia Heffernan
  • David Helvarg
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • Mickey Kaus
  • Paul Krugman
  • Steven Landsburg
  • Will Leitch
  • David Plotz
  • Daniel Radosh
  • Bruce Reed
  • Jody Rosen
  • Herbert Stein
  • James Surowiecki
  • Rob Walker
  • David Weigel
  • Robert Wright
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Fareed Zakaria

Company overview

Key executives

  • Julia Turner Editor
  • John Swansburg Deputy Editor
  • Lowen Liu Managing Editor
  • Allison Benedikt News Director
  • Dan Kois Culture Editor
  • Keith Hernandez President


  1. ^ "Slatecom Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved August 25, 2016 
  2. ^ "Slate Magazine: Private Company Information - Businessweek" Bloombergcom Retrieved July 2, 2015 
  3. ^ "Interview: Jacob Weisberg, Chairman, Slate Group: Breaking Out of the Beltway" CBS News February 15, 2009 
  4. ^ "Slatefr: Jean-Marie Colombani à l'assaut du Web, actualité Tech & Net – Le Point" in French Le Point February 10, 2009 Retrieved April 28, 2013 
  5. ^ "Slate Afrique" VoxEurop June 20, 2012 Retrieved July 2, 2015 
  6. ^ Plotz, David July 14, 2014 "David Plotz Says Goodbye" Slate Retrieved July 14, 2014 
  7. ^ 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 
  8. ^ a b "Unlimited FAQ" Slate Retrieved July 2, 2015 
  9. ^ "Contrarianism's end" The Economist October 19, 2009 
  10. ^ 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 is to make the contrarian case that all the common assumptions about a subject are simply and hopelessly wrong 
  11. ^ a b Coscarelli, Joe October 23, 2009 "Slate's Contrarian Ways Mocked On Twitter" Mediaite 
  12. ^ Tyranny, The April 4, 2011 "Slate of Mind: Q&A with David Plotz" Sparksheet Retrieved April 28, 2013 
  13. ^ Winter, Jessica 21 May 2015 "Slate Isn't Too Liberal But…" – via Slate 
  14. ^ 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 
  15. ^ "Home" Slate V Retrieved April 28, 2013 
  16. ^ 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 
  17. ^ "'Slate' Gets a New Publisher" Adweek August 27, 2012 Retrieved July 12, 2015 
  18. ^ 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 
  19. ^ Turner, Julia June 7, 2015 "Hello, International Reader" Slate ISSN 1091-2339 Retrieved June 7, 2015 
  20. ^ Goldenberg, Kira October 16, 2014 "Stop trolling your readers" Columbia Journalism Review Retrieved October 16, 2014 
  21. ^ "Slate's Podcasting Guide" Slate Retrieved August 3, 2012 
  22. ^ a b c d Phelps, Andrew June 4, 2012 "Slate doubles down on podcasts, courting niche audiences and happy advertisers" Nieman Foundation for Journalism Retrieved April 28, 2013 
  23. ^ 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 
  24. ^ a b Yoffe, Emily 2015-11-12 "Don't Call It Closure" Slate ISSN 1091-2339 Retrieved 2016-07-31 
  25. ^ Stelter, Brian November 16, 2009 "Double X Is Folded Into Slate Magazine" The New York Times Retrieved July 12, 2015 

External links

  • Official website
  • Slate's French website

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