Introducing "The Slatest," a better news aggregator.

The inner workings of Slate.
Aug. 24 2009 7:34 AM

Introducing "The Slatest," a Better News Aggregator

We're replacing "Today's Papers." Here's why.

Check out our new aggregation feature,  " The Slatest."

(Continued from Page 1)

Overnight, newspapers launch the news. They publish stories clarifying the events of yesterday; they break their own investigative stories; they print zeitgeist-defining feature articles and op-eds. The morning brings Phase 2, when Web media reacts to the news. Bloggers and other sites respond to the news that broke overnight, and newsmakers push back against or try to exploit these stories. Phase 3, the buildup, comes in the afternoon, as the events of the day unfold—congressional action, a presidential gaffe, turmoil in Asia. The media break this news, and analyze how it fits together with yesterday's top stories. Opinion makers try to shape how the day's events will play on the night's cable shows and in tomorrow's newspapers. The next morning, it all starts over again.

"The Slatest" is built to capture each of these three periods. At 7 a.m. ET, we publish our morning edition of the Slate Dozen, which, like "Today's Papers," will highlight the most important stories breaking overnight in the big newspapers. (It's even being written by our longtime "Today's Papers" columnist, Daniel Politi.) The second, noontime edition of the Slate Dozen will capture how those overnight stories are being reframed by opinion makers. The afternoon Slate Dozen, which publishes at 5 p.m. ET, will analyze the events of the day and preview the next day's news. The Slate Dozen will be written to save you time, cherry-picking the most important, interesting, and entertaining points in the coverage. You can read short versions of all 12 items on "The Slatest" home page or click through to longer versions. And, of course, you can always follow a link to the original media source.

We're making the Slate Dozen easy to find. We'll publish it three times a day on "The Slatest" home page. You can also reach it from the Slatest box near the top of the Slate home page. And you can get the Slate Dozen by e-mail newsletter. You can opt to receive one, two, or all three of the Slate Dozen's daily editions as well as our weekend edition. Those of you who have been receiving the "Today's Papers" newsletter: We have automatically signed you up for the morning edition of the Slate Dozen. The Slate Dozen will also soon be available on Slate's mobile site and via Kindle. The Slate Dozen is the core of "The Slatest," but there is much more. You'll notice at the top of "The Slatest" page a large headline and picture. This lead story is the top news item of the moment. It will end up in the next edition of the Slate Dozen, but until it does, the top box will keep you current with breaking stories.

The blue box on the left side of the page carries the Slate staff Twitter feed. In the past, when stories caught our eye—an amazing photo essay on North Korea, Jayson Blair's new job as a life coach, a clip of Barney Frank chewing out a town hall protestor—we would spin them around the office by e-mail. We realized that our readers might be just as interested in these stories as our colleagues. The items in the Twitter feed usually aren't the latest news but, rather, the stories that baffle us, amaze us, make us crack up. (You can also sign up to follow us on Twitter.)

Advertisement

Below the Twitter box is the News Right Now, which automatically pulls the top headlines from the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Drudge, the Huffington Post, the Smoking Gun, TMZ, the New York Times most-e-mailed list, and MSNBC.

We're eager for you to comment on "The Slatest" stories, so we're using "The Slatest" to experiment with a new feature available from Facebook. Facebook Connect makes it incredibly easy for Facebook members to post comments about Slate Dozen stories. (Unfortunately, if you're not a Facebook member, you won't be able to comment.)

"The Slatest" is a work in progress. We'll soon be adding a video feature and a stunning interactive news map. We'll also be tweaking "The Slatest" in response to your suggestions, criticisms, and questions. So please send them to me at theslatest@gmail.com.

And please read "The Slatest" here.