Slate readers can now assign Slate writers stories. How’s that for counterintuitive?
In a stunt reminiscent of a Slate explainer, the website is turning assumptions slightly askew and then making a case for that assumption. For the next week, that assumption is the editorial process whereby an editor assigns a writer a story, a writer writes it and then a reader reads it. But not this week at Slate. Readers are submitting the story ideas.
But there are still rules. Let’s not get carried away. This whole experiment isn’t going to descend into some kind of reader-led anarchy. Pitches must be 150 words or less. The submission period ends on October 17. Then readers will be vote. And then the writers will write it.
To get readers thinking, Slate has some prompts.
“What ad should Seth Stevenson write about? Which Senate race should John Dickerson weigh in on? What crazy social experiment should David Plotz and Hanna Rosin try to replicate next? We’re counting on you to dream up great assignments for our writers to tackle, to point out the subjects we aren’t covering but should,” wrote Slate.
What hasn’t Slate explained yet? We honestly can’t think of a single thing, but we have no doubt that the website’s faithful will.