Slate is replacing Today’s Papers with a news aggregator that it is calling “The Slatest.” Rather than publish just one daily news summary in the morning, Slate will now provide three updates a day, tracking the news as it develops.
Why three updates?
This three-times-a-day pace is perhaps the most important element of “The Slatest,” and it grew out of an insight from Slate “Pressbox” columnist Jack Shafer. In an editorial meeting one day, Jack pointed out that the news cycle is no longer daily but neither is it continuous. Rather, it has three parts.
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.