Journalism Trend: Reporters’ Personal Newsletters

I caught this story in Digiday. Max Willens is the reporter who is reporting on a trend of journalists starting their own newsletters. Just as media companies have understood the power of having newsletters, now reporters are seeing them as a tool, as well, to obviously communicate directly with readers.

Journalists Starting Their Own Newsletters

They’re using them to test out new ideas and nurture their obsessions–quote, unquote, in the article. But some of them some of them are treating their newsletters as kind of aggregator of their own work. Others use them to sound out their ideas with their readers and maybe take those ideas fleshed out and bring them back as article ideas to pitch to their editors.

Substack Is A Popular Newsletter Tool

A number of full-time journalists are joining Substack. That number has been growing according to the co-founder and chief operating officer Hamish McKenzie of Substack

Revue Is Another One

And then apparently the same thing is happening with the platform Revue. According to their CEO , , Martijn de Kuijper–I can’t pronounce the name, sorry. But the article doesn’tā€¦neither of them have hard data. It’s just an observation. It is an observation I’ve been making as well.

Purple Insider Newsletter

One of my favorite of Minnesota Vikings beat reporters Matthew Coller worked with a local ESPN affiliate. He wrote for the website, hosted radio shows, their podcast. He was laid off as a result of the pandemic and started his own Purple Insider newsletter on Substack. It’s a newsletter and a podcast. There’s a free version and it’s one article a week.

Purple Insider Podcast

The podcast is really good because he’s a beat reporter for the Vikings. He has all the contacts and so he has great guests. But then you can buy a subscription version for $56 a year, $5.60 a month.

It’s a way for him to obviously survive. My question is: He’s a very talented sports reporter, probably get picked up by somebody eventually. What happens to my subscription when that happens, right?

So there’s that but I probably should buy the subscription just to support him because he’s very good. But it’s interesting.

Substack Makes Premium Subscriptions Easy

Substack really makes it easy for all of theā€¦the eCommerce and stuff is built in. So it really makes it easy for these journalists who are fighting for their lives really with their economic situation, many of them–to earn some money on the side or build their own audience. So interesting development there.

7 More Reporters On Substack

  1. Big Tech by Alex Kantrowitz, fomerly of BuzzFeed
  2. The Weekly Dish by Andrew Sullivan
  3. Heated by Emily Atkin, formerly of The New Republic. About the climate crisis
  4. Taibbi by Matt Taibbi, fomerly of Rolling Stone
  5. Outside the (Press) Box by John Neisen, formerly of Sports Illustrated
  6. Power Plays by Lindsay Gibbs. About sexism in sports.
  7. The Second Arrangement by Kelly Dwyer, formerly of Yahoo. Covers the NBA.

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