True/Slant beta version launches

NEW YORK: True/Slant, a news Web site buoyed by editorial contributions from 100 "entrepreneurial journalists" and a sales program that allows marketers their own advertorial pages, launched in beta on June 8.

NEW YORK: True/Slant, a news Web site buoyed by editorial contributions from 100 "entrepreneurial journalists" and a sales program that allows marketers their own advertorial pages, launched in beta on June 8.

The site allows contributing journalists, academics, and experts to control their own pages on the site. Among its early contributors are Miles O'Brien, former anchor at CNN; Matt Taibbi, political correspondent at Rolling Stone; and Katty Kay, correspondent for the BBC. The contributors are also contractually obligated to participate in discussion with the site's users and recommend comments.

The number of writers on site has increased partially because of the number of media layoffs in recent months, said Lewis DVorkin, founder and CEO of the site. He added that contributors are free to work for other media outlets as well.

"I think [high numbers of media layoffs] partly explains why we have 100 contributors today, ranging from [journalists at] CNN to Time to Newsweek," he said. "[The site] enables many contributors from many different walks of life, who are either affiliated or unaffiliated with a larger brand, to publish on True/Slant to anchor their digital brands."

The site also offers advertisers "Ad/Slant" pages, where they can produce content and engage commenters in much the same way as editorial contributors, in addition to sponsored links and banner ads.

DVorkin added that the Ad/Slant pages are clearly marked as advertorial, but they give marketers new opportunities to interact with readers.

"We are maintaining the important measures of integrity and at the same time understanding that the marketers of the world are looking for a more effective conversation," he said. "We are offering that marketer, in a fully transparent way, to be able to have a voice and to be able to integrate that voice in a news page in a clearly labeled way."

True/Slant is privately held but funded by Forbes Media and Velocity Interactive Group. It hired The Harbour Group of Washington for the launch.

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