Just as so many save-our-business types are castigating news aggregators as pirates, Slate takes up the aggregating craft. It's a sort of formal acknowledgment by one of the most establishment sites on the web -- Slate was founded by Microsoft and is now owned by the Washington Post -- that people are reading news differently and that the news is moving inexorably away from a single-source form.
I commented last week on media critic Dan Kennedy's righteous indignation at Newser for having the temerity to summarize other people's articles. Slate enters the field with even longer summaries of the dozen news stories it deems the morning's most important (longer summaries might seem to be a contradiction -- but while everybody likes shorter, some people, apparently, like shorter to be longer), with an ever-so-small hyperlink to the original source.
Slate takes credit for helping to invent the aggregation genre in the early Internet years with its "Today's Papers" and "In Other Magazines" (though British radio hosts have been reading excerpts from the papers on air for several generations). While acknowledging that, in the accelerated news cycle of the Internet, summarizing yesterday's news is out of date, Slate seems to have sat warily on the sidelines as new sorts of aggregation grew up on the web.
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