Tag Archives: Slate

Can in-depth journalism flourish online?

How much do we want to read online? Is the screen really the domain of the breaking-news headline, while paper is better suited to in-depth reports?

Apparently not, according to techdirt.com, who refer to the case of online magazine Slate, where writers were given the opportunity to research and produce lengthy pieces of journalism, with their work receiving millions of page views.

No content farm is going to create the type of content described above. They won’t even come close. Perhaps one of the problems with traditional media is that they’ve focused on writing stories that can be easily copied by content farms. Instead, they should be focusing on deeper, quality work.

This is also the thinking over at The Times, who believe such journalism can not only thrive online, but should be paid for.

See the full post here…

Online journalism: A return to long-form?

Nieman Journalism Lab’s Megan Garber has a good post up about Slate and its dedication to long-form journalism, a dying art in the world of blogs and aggregators and online news consumption analysis.

Slate editor David Plotz launched the Fresca Initiative last year, designed to give reporters the opportunity to produce long-form work on subjects of their choice. Under the scheme, staff can take four to six weeks off their normal jobs to produce more in-depth stuff.

The result? Not only a handful of very good (and, at as many as tens of thousands of words, very long) articles but serious traffic to the site too. For the tens of thousands of words there have been millions of page views.

For Plotz, the form is about “building the brand of Slate as a place you go for excellent journalism”. It is not about “building Slate into a magazine that has 100 million readers,” but making sure they have “two million or five million or eight million of the right readers”.

Anybody trying to monetise online content at the moment knows about the right readers, and about their value to advertisers.

So here’s to the idea that ten thousand word articles and are not anathema to online audiences, and to the idea that giving your staff six weeks off to write them isn’t anathema to making money from online content.

And, most of all, here’s to the idea that my boss thinks so too.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Full Nieman post at this link…

NYTimes: Slate replacing ‘Today’s Papers’ with the ‘Slatest’

Slate is replacing the 12 year old ‘Today’s Papers’ feature – what the NYTimes calls ‘one of the original aggregators of the web’ – with a thrice daily summary.

The NYTimes reports:

“In its place comes a new recap of the news, one that acknowledges that the news cycle has, well, sped up quite considerably since ‘Today’s Papers’ started in 1997. That is why the ‘Slatest,’ the name of the new feature that comes online Monday morning, will collect the world’s news three times a day.”

Full post at this link…

Editors Weblog: The launch of Slate.fr in beta

Slate.fr, which is the US online magazine Slate’s French edition, had its beta edition on Tuesday, the Editors Weblog reports.

Editors Weblog picks out comments made by co-founder Johan Hufnagel in an interview with Le Figaro about the launch.

Full story at this link…

Nieman Reports: Twitter should add to and not replace reporting

John Dickerson, Slate’s chief political correspondent, describes how Twitter has become the home for ‘all of those asides I’ve scribbled in the hundreds of notebooks’.

Reporters should use it to add colour and extra insight into their beats and their work. Journalists should not try and make the service do more than this, he argues.