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(Wikipedia) - Slate (magazine)   (Redirected from Slate Web address Commercial? Type of site Registration Owner Created by Editor Alexa rank Current status
Online magazine
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The Slate Group
Michael Kinsley
Julia Turner
596 (April 2014)

Slate is a left-leaning English-language online current affairs and culture magazine in the United States 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. 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.

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% in the publishing company, while the Slate Group holds 15%.

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. 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.

  • 1 Background
    • 1.1 Reputation for counterintuitive arguments and "Slate pitches"
  • 2 Podcasts
  • 3 Notable contributors and their departments
  • 4 Other recurring features
    • 4.1 Summary columns
    • 4.2 Blogs
  • 5 Past notable contributors
  • 6 Company overview
    • 6.1 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 March 1998, Slate attracted considerable notice by charging a $19.95 annual subscription fee, becoming one of the first sites (outside of pornography and financial news) to attempt a subscription-based business model. The model did not work; in February 1999, Slate returned to free content, citing both sluggish subscription sales and increased advertising revenue. A similar subscription model would later be implemented by Slate ''​s independently owned competitor,, 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 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" featuring ad-free podcasts as well as some bonus materials.

Reputation for counterintuitive arguments and "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."


On July 15, 2005, Slate began offering a podcast, featuring selected stories from the site read by Andy Bowers, who 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.

  • Daily Podcast (some of everything)
  • Political Gabfest
  • Culture Gabfest
  • Hang Up and Listen (sports)
  • Manners for the Digital Age
  • Spoiler Specials (film)
  • Audio Book Club
  • The Gist
  • DoubleX (women''s issues)
  • Poetry Podcast
  • The Root (African-American issues)
  • The Negotiation Academy (tips for haggling)
  • The Afterword (nonfiction interviews)
  • Lexicon Valley (language issues)
  • Video Podcast

Slate podcasts have gotten longer over the years. The original Gabfest was 15 minutes; most are now 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)
  • Emily Bazelon (Family/Jurisprudence)
  • John Dickerson (Politics)
  • Simon Doonan (Doonan)
  • 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)
  • Mike Pesca (The Gist)
  • Robert Pinsky (Poetry editor)
  • Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy / Science)
  • David Plotz (Former editor)
  • Jody Rosen (Music Box)
  • 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)
  • David Weigel (Politics)
  • Jacob Weisberg (The Big Idea)
  • Tim Wu (Technology/Jurisprudence)
  • Emily Yoffe (Dear Prudence/Human Guinea-pig)
Other recurring features
  • Assessment
  • Books
  • Dear Prudence (advice column)
  • Dispatches
  • Drink
  • Food
  • Foreigners
  • Gaming
  • The Good Word (language)
  • Shopping
  • The Movie Club
  • Science
  • The TV Club
Summary columns
  • Slatest (news aggregator)
  • The Vault, Slate''s history blog
  • Future Tense, a technology blog produced as part of a partnership between Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University
  • Brow Beat, Slate''s culture blog
  • Outward, Slate''s LGBTQ blog
  • Wild Things, Slate''s animals blog
  • Behold, Slate''s photo blog
  • The World, a blog about foreign affairs
  • Moneybox, Slate''s business and economics blog
  • XX Factor, a blog about women''s issues
  • Lexicon Valley, a blog about language
  • The Eye, a design blog
  • Crime, a crime blog
Past notable contributors
  • Ian Bremmer
  • Phil Carter
  • David Edelstein
  • Franklin Foer
  • Sasha Frere-Jones
  • Atul Gawande
  • Austan Goolsbee
  • Robert Lane Greene
  • Virginia Heffernan
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • David Helvarg
  • Mickey Kaus
  • Paul Krugman
  • Steven Landsburg
  • Will Leitch
  • Daniel Radosh
  • Bruce Reed
  • Herbert Stein
  • James Surowiecki
  • Rob Walker
  • Robert Wright
  • Fareed Zakaria
  • Matthew Yglesias
Company overview Key executives
  • Jill Hunter Pellettieri (Managing Editor)
  • Rachael Larimore (Managing Editor)
  • Hanna Rosin (Founding Editor)
  • Allison Benedikt (Managing Editor)
  • Anthony DeMaio (Vice President of Sales and Associate Publisher)

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