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Primary website:
slate.com
Primary Twitter:
@Slate

Slate is an online political and cultural magazine founded in 1996 and currently owned by the Graham Holdings Co.

Slate was launched by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley and initially owned by Microsoft — one of the first online-only publications founded as part of a major corporation or media outlet.

Much of Slate’s commentary has centered on culture and the arts, as well as political reporting and commentary. It has also produced several regular features aggregating, summarizing, and explaining other news and commentary on the web, such as its Today’s Papers Other Magazines (both of which have been discontinued) and the Slatest roundups and Explainer column. Slate has also been characterized by an irreverent, contrarian tone.

Slate has been described as a transitional link between traditional and new media as well as a successor to the newsweekly’s role as a political and cultural observer.

Slate turned a profit for the first time in 2003, having launched with significant investment from Microsoft but moved toward profitability through an advertising-based model. The site hired its own dedicated sales force for the first time in late 2011.

In 2005, Slate was sold to the Washington Post Co., and in 2008, the Post formed a online subsidiary called The Slate Group, which includes Slate, its video and podcasting outlet Slate V, African American culture magazine The Root and the financial site The Big Money. The Slate Group remained with the Washington Post Co. after the company sold The Washington Post in 2013 and changed its name to the Graham Holdings Co.

In 2009, Slate launched a French edition. In 2010, it launched Slate Labs, a section of the site focused on “experiments in multimedia journalism.” It began emphasizing more frequent daily content in an effort to grow traffic in 2011 and 2012, in conjunction with an increased focus on data analytics and social media.

In 2011, Slate launched a redesigned and expanded version of The Slatest, a news aggregator meant to fill in the gap between breaking news and the magazine’s long-form treatment of stories.

Slate has gone deeper into web video in 2010 and 2011, launching its video Trending News Channel in 2010 and forming a Slate News Channel on YouTube in 2011. It has also been a leader in podcasting, with 10 podcasts led by the Political Gabfest as of 2014.

Slate instituted a $19.95-per-year subscription fee for much of its content in 1998, then withdrew the paywall the following year after attracting 20,000 subscribers. In 2014, after going 15 years without a paid-content plan outside of mobile apps, Slate introduced a $5-per-month membership model called Slate Plus allowing exclusive content as well as access to Slate writers and events.

Video

Jacob Weisberg interview at paidContent:

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Oct. 22, 2014 / Caroline O'Donovan
Six fresh ideas for news design from a #SNDMakes designathon — The Society for News Design hosted its second #SNDMakes hackathon in Boston this past weekend. The last iteration of the event was held in Indianapolis, hosted about two dozen designers, developers, and journalists, and ...
July 10, 2014 / Ken Doctor
Ken Doctor: Mind your own business, Facebook and Google — No, Facebook and Google aren’t practicing mind control on us, are they? That’s just silly. Their business is the highly prosaic selling of advertising, less romantic than Mad Men, more lucrative than Midas. M...
May 8, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Two ways to sell “insider” status at a news org — Khoi Vinh, former design director of NYTimes.com, had a blog post up yesterday about the recent trend toward offering a type of insider status as a premium product at news outlets. His old employer has Times Insider, of ...
April 25, 2014 / Mark Coddington
This Week in Review: Net neutrality under threat, and Aereo and the future of free TV — A net neutrality alarm: Two big stories this week dealt with the degree to which large media companies will be able to control the ways content is transmitted. The bigger one came Wednesday, when The Wall Street Journal...
April 21, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Slate debuts its membership model, Slate Plus — Slate would like to make one thing perfectly clear: It’s not a paywall! (Language around that issue’s been a sore subject in the past.) Slate editor David Plotz: First, let me say what it’s not. It’s not ...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: May 8, 2014.
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Grist is an American online magazine that focuses on environmental issues. The magazine says it provides reporting and commentary “with a wry twist,” and has covered issues like energy, food, and agriculture, climate change and city planning. According to the magazine they have over 900,000 monthly pageviews and 500,000 monthly unique visitors. In recent years…

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