Articles about "Slate"


Slate names Julia Turner EIC

The New York Times | Slate

Julia Turner is the new editor-in-chief of Slate. David Plotz, the site’s current top editor, is stepping down, Leslie Kaufman reports.

Plotz may “start a new operation for Graham Holdings, the parent company of Slate,” Kaufman writes. Turner will be based in New York. Plotz was based in D.C.

“I’m not leaving for any secret reason,” Plotz writes in a farewell note. “Maybe it’s the rule of six: Mike [Kinsley] edited Slate for six years. Jacob [Weisberg] edited Slate for six years. I’ve been editing Slate for six years, and I’m ready to try something new.” Read more

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‘Brilliant,’ ‘respected’ and ‘uniquely powerful’: Some different words about Jill Abramson

The New York Times | Slate | New Republic | Salon | All Digitocracy

After her firing from The New York Times on Wednesday, the media reported and repeated anonymous descriptions about Jill Abramson that made many of us cringe. She was pushy. Mercurial. Stubborn and condescending.

But on Thursday, several stories used different words to describe Abramson.

From Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor:

But let’s take a moment to celebrate the short but meaningful reign of Ms. Abramson. A brilliant journalist, she “kept the paper straight,” which was one of her stated aims; there was no scandal on her watch. She moved the journalism forward into the digital realm – let’s allow the word “Snowfall,” like “Rosebud” to say it all. She defended press rights and stood up for her reporters, most notably with China coverage, staying the course when the going got tough. And her staff won eight Pulitzers during her short tenure (it should have been nine, in my view).

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As Slate makes pagination go away for a price, what usability sin would you pay to eliminate?

Finally, Slate’s providing readers with an alternative experience to “one of the worst design and usability sins on the Web” — but it’ll cost you. For $5 per month, Slate Plus members won’t have to deal with paginated articles or ads during podcasts.

It’s a “freemium” pay model, or a “reverse paywall,” that adds features for subscribers rather than substracting them for nonsubscribers. But it still creates classes of haves and have-nots: those who have to click the “single page” button to see a story on a single page and those who don’t.

So that got us wondering: What awful usability features of browsing the Web would you pay to make go away? Interstitial ads like those that play before Washington Post content (even photo slideshows!)? The prompt to download or open an app on whenever you visit a mobile site like CNN? Pop-ups like those on Poynter asking you to donate money or pop-ups like those on Mashable asking you to like a Facebook page? Read more

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No paginated articles for members of Slate’s new membership program

Slate | Nieman

Slate’s new membership program Slate Plus launched Monday, and Editor David Plotz reels off some of the premiums in the $5 per month/$50 per year program he says will lead to a “a richer, smoother Slate experience” in his announcement: “special access to favorite Slate writers and editors.” Early access to some features. A really nice-looking mug.

All of which pales compared to the most important benefit: No more paginated articles.

Slate will be sleeker for Slate Plus members. We know how much some of you dislike pagination: Slate Plus members will automatically get single-page articles throughout the site. Members will also be able to read and post comments directly on article pages, rather in a pop-up window, and we’ll highlight member comments.

The membership is not a paywall — all Slate’s content is still free for cheapskates. (Though the idea of eliminating annoyances in exchange for cash may be interesting to publishers no matter how or whether they charge for content — I would consider paying to never see “Read more” followed by a URL when I paste a quote into a blog post.)

Nieman’s Josh Benton writes that Slate Plus’ value “isn’t single-page stories or a pre-show spritzer with Emily Bazelon — it’s just the fact that it’s an opportunity for people willing to pay to do so.”

There are Slate superfans whose relationship with the site stretches more than a decade.

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On Thursday, Amanda Hess wrote about the media talking down to women. In a piece called “Enough With the Ageist, Sexist Mom Jokes,” Hess wrote about a story in The New York Times on Tuesday and how the act of having a child does not actually lower IQ or the ability to understand complex topics.

I heard about “How to Explain Bitcoin to Your Mom” from my mother, of course, who spotted the item on the Times’ twitter feed. She is a New York Times subscriber (since the audience of the NYTimes.com is 52 percent female with a median age of 47, I assume moms are a key demographic for the newspaper), so she is well-aware of the paper’s near-constant coverage of the cryptocurrency, even though these articles are written using grown-up words and not pretty pictures. (The same cannot be said for my father: When I called and asked him “What is Bitcoin?,” he replied, “I’ve been asking everybody the same thing for months.”)

Amanda Hess, Slate

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Slate to introduce Amazon Prime-like membership plan

The New York Times

“Slate Plus” will launch Tuesday, Leslie Kaufman reports. While all Slate’s content will remain available for free, readers who pay $5 per month (or $50 per year) will get “special access to the site’s editors and writers, as well as members-only discussions with Emily Yoffe, Slate’s Dear Prudence advice columnist.” They’ll also get input into profiles, ad-free podcasts and discounts on events.

“Our model is Amazon Prime, which keeps adding benefits,” Slate Editor David Plotz told Kaufman.

In late 2012, Jeff Bercovici reported Slate might be considering a paywall. (The company tried one long ago but didn’t think it worked.) Paywalls “don’t make sense for a site like ours,” Weisberg told me at the time. He did say Slate was looking at a membership model. Read more

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Let’s thank women’s magazines for quizzes

Slate | Time | Mashable

Have you Travolta-fied your name yet? (I’d be really surprised if you haven’t; the name-generator from Slate has been “the most popular post Slate had ever done–yes, even more than thinkpieces on Jonathan Livingston Seagull!” James Poniewozik wrote for Time on Wednesday.)

In “Why Name Generators and Quizzes Are the New Crosswords,” Poniewozik wrote about those quizzes and why they don’t mean an end to good journalism. Read more

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slatecorrex

Slate’s good strategy for correcting errors on Twitter, elsewhere

On Saturday night, Slate made a very funny, embarrassing error on Twitter:

Javier Bardem and Vladimir Putin aren’t exactly lookalikes. It’s a funny mistake, and thanks to Twitter’s recent changes the mistaken image loomed large in people’s timelines. Then came the correction:

Slate social media editor Jeremy Stahl employed a simple but effective strategy: he issued the correction as a reply to the original tweet. That’s why the correction begins “@Slate,” and it’s why it refers to the photo without having to show it again. The result is anyone viewing the original tweet can see the resulting correction in the stream of replies:

People viewing the correction tweet on its own can also see it’s part of a conversation linked to the original, offending tweet. Read more

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Correction: Atlanta may only lose a quarter of its trees today

But that’s still a lot of trees.

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Slate’s top error-spotter delivers another great correction

Back in 2007, Slate did a rare thing: it profiled a reader who was a prolific spotter of errors in Slate articles.

Jack Shafer, at the time Slate’s media critic, wrote a column that described regular reader RM “Auros” Harman as “A walking, talking, error-correction algorithm ….”

“Auros is easily one of the most prolific ‘gotcha’ artists currently submitting corrections to the magazine,” Shafer wrote.

Almost seven years later, Harman is still practising his art, and Slate is still giving him his due.

This gem was appended today to a story by  (headline: “Are Hobbits Human?”):

Correction, Jan. 2, 2014: The caption for this story originally stated that Arwen and Aragorn are half-elf and half-human. Aragorn is three-fourths human and one-fourth elf. Arwen is 3/16 human, 25/32 elf, and 1/32 Maia. Thanks to reader Auros Harman for the genealogical analysis.

It’s great when a publication credits a person for spotting an error, and lord knows Harman is deserving of recognition. Read more

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