Slate: Impressions of an Independent Journalism Site

Slate is an independent online news site.  For the purposes of comparison, I've chosen to look at how the same topic was covered on Slate and on the New York Times, a legacy news operation.  President Obama gave a speech at the University of Michigan today on his plan to stem the tide of rising college tuition costs. The New York Times article is very thoroughly sourced and highly technical in terms of how the plan would affect students and taxpayers.  The reporter included quotes from Obama's speech and talked to various officials within his administration.  Also included were a couple of higher education experts.

The Slate article is probably more digestible for Web audiences because it's much shorter.  It's a quick synopsis.  They reference a Washington Post article, something that would probably not normally happen at traditional media outlets.

Also, from a usability standpoint, the Slate interface is much more web friendly.  Articles are teased slideshow style and everything on the front page has a photo.  The New York Times appears to have tried to copy and paste the newspaper format onto the website.  While retaining a somewhat traditional look, it has the effect of making things jumbled on the front page.  There are very few pictures to draw your eye in.