In analyzing Slate from contextual standpoint I have to say I was somewhat taken aback by the vintage of some of the postings. In fairness I viewed the website on a Sunday, but many of the stories on the front page were several days old… in some instances older. It makes me wonder how much actual updating of material is being done and how often new material is being generated by the writers and correspondents? A clear example of this was an article entitled “ Poll: Occupy Wall Street is Twice as Popular as The Tea Party.” I had read this Thursday morning, yet it was still on the front page of Slates website three days later.
There is a top column called “The Slatest,“ but upon further examination this appeared to be little more than re-warmed Associated Press copy. Note the quote at the bottom of this piece, ” Cain Has Deep Ties to Koch Brothers.” Or this story, ” Is US Abandoning Plans to Keep Troops in Iraq?”(perhaps an even better illustration of my point). I understand the pressures media outlets are under these days, especially during overnight and weekend periods of the 24/7 news cycle, but it raises the question of how many online sites we need to aggregate news from elsewhere.
However, lest you think my entire take on Slate is negative I would hasten to add there are a lot of things I also think these guys are doing right. I very much like the top of screen navigation bar with links to various categories of coverage. I also appreciate some of the longer form pieces, where the freshness of the coverage is far less of a factor. By way of example see “What the New Deal Accomplished” by Michael Hiltzik.
In the final analysis I would like to know more about what content sharing if going on, if any, between Slate and parent The Washington Post Co. I think this is something I many endeavor to learn more about and comment on in future postings. I also think the site could use more video. One thing you gotta love though is the Doonesbury comic on the front!