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Apr. 8 2009 - 6:14 pm | 65 views | 4 recommendations | 9 comments

Welcome to True/Slant

This is an idea 35 years in the making.

I got hooked on journalism in college when the country was bitterly divided over Vietnam, gripped by Nixon and Watergate, in the throes of Roe v. Wade.

I loved the newsroom. The feel of it. The deadline pressure. The late nights. Reporting, editing and publishing the news felt so important to me.

Today, the news business is undergoing a wrenching transformation brought on by the economics of the digital world. Big questions loom. Can news providers continue to afford to produce quality news products? How can they best  serve audiences that crave both more information and deeper insight from credible sources?

True/Slant has many goals:

– To empower knowledgeable and experienced contributors to easily produce original content.

– To enable the audience to efficiently find relevant and interesting news culled by contributors they respect.

– To blur the line between the “New Journalist” and the audience by hosting a curated, lively and civil conversation.

– To point audiences to stories and videos across the Web, respecting the intellectual copyrights of the original content creators.

– To give a voice to corporate marketers that is fully transparent and labeled, maintaining the integrity of the conversation.

As digital journalism rapidly evolves, this is top most on my mind:  How can True/Slant combine the values and standards of the great news organizations that served the public interest so well for so long with the dynamic nature and interactivity of the digital world?

This is our Alpha product, a bit rough around the edges because we have so much more to do.

I hope you will follow T/S contributors and engage with them.

As we like to say at True/Slant, “News is more than what happens.”


5 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 9 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Walt Mossberg had some good things to say recently. Let’s hope this revenue model succeeds.

  2. collapse expand

    I read about True/Slant in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, 4/9. A new model, trying to capture and use some of the reasons that dead-tree news organizations are failing, notably their elitist and one-way qualities.

    Stratfor and Time Magazine both tried out public participation years ago, and this created intense communities with remarkable cohesion that lived on for a long time after both organizations killed their discussion forums.

    The forums were killed because they were way too wild for the credit of the organizations. Public goods are no good — not without government. There are trolls, there are propaganda agents from foreign governments, there are paid partisans, there are spammers, there are mischief makers, and the usual reallife segregation of the mentally ill and criminals from “normal” people does not yet pertain on the ungoverned Internet.

    I can think of many vigorous and important discussion forums — the feminists on the Ms. Magazine boards for one — that were closed and continue to go down because bad talk drives out good talk — and readers.

    Wikipedia is an open-source, non-elitist public good that has succeeded in setting up an internal government that works, so that public goods are good, and sought after.

    I hope you succeed in this challenge, too.

  3. collapse expand

    After seeing Mossberg article in the WSJ about True/Slant, I decided to check it out. Most of my news and info is coming from Branded and independent sources that can be found on-line. And from XM radio, and some printed Journals and one local paper. True/Slant appears to be a combination of journalism, blogging, independent writers and some sponsors. It looks like you have some “human editors”, unlike a Google News that is just a news collection site. Like the other T/S contributors, I hope that the business model is workable. And that you are able to edit our the “wacko Internet comments” that can plague a site that is open for reader comments.
    The news business has changed, and T/S looks like part of the new media model for journalism.

  4. collapse expand

    I applaud any attempt to remake the broken journalism model, but I don’t see that happening here–at least not yet. As far as I can tell this site rewards activity at the expense of depth, demanding constant posting and taking time away from original news gathering. If it weren’t for the actual reporting provided by paid professional journalists at the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other traditional venues, the agile minds of True/Slant would have absolutely nothing to opine about. Sadly, this seems to be just another glorified aggregator/amplifier. Where is the journalism?

  5. collapse expand

    We’ll be doing a piece about you on talkibie.com this week. Best of luck to you: as a former print journalist myself, I hope you succeed beyond your wildest expectations.

  6. collapse expand

    I also read about this in Mossberg’s column and like the idea. I hope that there will be a lot of genuine reporting and not just re-hashes of wire services’ reports. I’m tired of that approach and hope this new site will be a welcome change.
    I also hope that you will keep an eye out for political bias. Bias creeps in in several ways. One way is the stories that reporters choose to write about. Another way is the personal prejudice of the reporter who slants a story to fulfill his/her agenda. Both of these can combine in an insidious way. Thus the use of the word “slant” in your name bothers me. It’s been a problem for years with some of the “great news organizations” that you admire. I’d feel better if you just stuck to the “true” part.

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    About Me

    I'm the Founder and CEO of True/Slant. It's been a long journey: The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, a little tabloid TV, Forbes, AOL -- and I certainly don't want to forget TMZ. I lived through a newspaper strike (sounds quaint, right?), the New York City Black Out in '77, my bout with the Cabbage Patch Dolls -- and a few stints on the unemployment line. I got hooked on the News business as the editor of the Daily Iowan, during the days of Vietnam, Watergate and Roe v. Wade. I can quote all the best lines from "All the President's Men," and I still think Howard Beale did it better than all the real-life pretenders who followed him. I owe so much to James Bellows -- a truly gifted editor, an extraordinary human being and a mentor who was always there for me.

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    Contributor Since: March 2009
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