Journalist. Digital strategist.

Newsletters worth subscribing to

February 6, 2014 (updated on August 27, 2014)

They might seem like a slightly anachronistic way to deliver and consume journalism. However, a newsletter done right still has a lot to offer, or, in fact, not so much, and that’s the point. It is probably no coincidence that newsletters have started to thrive again as our news consumption has become more realtime-oriented, more fragmented with bit-sized news from Twitter and notifications in general. Newsletters are finite, they comfort you by saying: This is all you need to know for now.

Here’s a list of newsletters, both for actual news and content discovery beyond news, that I highly recommend. I’m subscribed to all of them.

When it comes to actual news-letters, almost all publishers assume subscribers who are eager to learn about the most important news from (and only from) that very publication. Quartz’ Daily Brief is made for subscribers who trust Quartz to deliver them the most important news, irrespective of who has published them. It’s a completely different promise to its readers and positions the newsletter to be the one-stop-solution for anyone interested in a morning (business) news fix.
Weekdays | 6am (time-zone adjusted) Subscribe

The Guardian’s newsletter is probably the best to give you a broad overview of the latest from all sections. The Guardian Today is nicely designed and gives both the Guardian’s selection and the most popular pieces of the past 24 hours. Tailored for a British audience, alas, it arrives a little late in Central Europe.
Weekdays | 9am CET Subscribe

Next Draft by Steve Pell is more than just a news-letter. It follows the news agenda, but Pell is also very good at picking the most relevant stories to put the news in context. And if that’s not enough, he has his very own, pointed way to comment on the news.
Almost daily | Nighttime CET Subscribe

The Morning Memo is all about updating you on the news that broke «while you were sleeping». It provides a roundup on technology, science, business and UK news.
Weekdays | 9am CET Subscribe

Along with its longreads section, Buzzfeed has launched a weekly newsletter called Buzzreads. It delivers the latest longreads from Buzzfeed plus a handful of longreads from elsewhere they recommend.
Sundays | Afternoon CET Subscribe

Longreads, the service that popularised the curation of longform articles on the web, delivers five hand-picked reads every week. Usually excellent stuff. I often see pieces here for the second time, but only then decide to dedicate my time to them since they now have Longread’s «stamp of approval». This sort of trust in its judgement is the best a newsletter can achieve.
Fridays | Nighttime CET Subscribe

Medium – a platform for «Everyone’s stories and ideas» – has a weekly newsletter of what its editors consider the best couple of pieces published on Medium in the past week. Usually, at least one or two treasures can be found here.
Fridays | Evening CET Subscribe

Matter, a kickstarted longform publisher recently acquired by Medium, has its own weekly newsletter with interesting longreads from other publications.
Fridays | Late Afternoon CET Subscribe

Nautilus is such a fantastic magazine that they can send out a newsletter with nothing but their own stories twice a week and still have me click on at least one every time. A keeper.
About twice a week | Noon CET Subscribe

Five Intriguing Things by The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal delivers exactly that. Published daily, Madrigal only vaguely follows the news agenda in his selection of link that help to better understand technology and what it changes. He adds a fair amount of words himself to tease and comment on each piece he links to.
Weekdays | Evening CET Subscribe

The Daily Digg is your best way to catch up with the stories beyond news that get a lot of traction, keeping out the annoyingly viral stuff.
Weekdays | 1pm CET Subscribe

Instapaper Weekly delivers the most popular stories of the week from the read-later service. Rather similar to the Longreads Weekly, but since it’s based exclusively on the judgement of the crowd, it’s a good complimentary.
Thursdays | Afternoon CET Subscribe

Your Sunday Hi is how storytelling-platform Hi reaches your inbox. Every story on Hi starts with a photograph, attached to a place. Reading the Sunday Hi and the stories it links to feels like traveling to foreign places and listening to interesting stories from strangers.
Sundays | Nighttime CET Subscribe

NEW Austin Kleon (whom you might know as the inventor of the Newspaper Blackout poems) sends out a weekly newsletter with a new poem and ten links to inspirational writing and art projects.
Fridays | Afternoon/Evening CET Subscribe

Then, finally, my own. The Weekly Filet is a (you guessed it: weekly) compilation of 5 extraordinary pieces found on the web, carefully selected.
Fridays | Early Afternoon CET Subscribe

Which are your favourite newsletters? Drop me a line @davidbauer or leave a comment.

Removed from earlier versions of this article:

  • Daniel Gremli

    Here’s one more: The Hype5 Newsletter – with the week’s best communication ideas: http://www.hype5.ch

  • cfahrenbach

    I like http://www.informer.ly a lot (it’s a startup out of the EJ-program I attended, too)… It heavily focusses on business (e-biz, to be exact), but does a great job in personalizing. It feels very tailored to me and always make me click at least once.

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