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For those of us sitting at desks (or dining tables) all day, the occasional distraction of an email newsletter offers a welcome respite from...whatever you’re doing. I personally take a moment from time to time to check out the “world in a nutshell” news-newsletter, from the Daily Pnut, to chuckle over septuagenarian advice columnist E. Jean Carrol’s newsletter, to learn something about anti-racism, to get book recs as good as the books themselves, or to stay up-to-date on work-related topics with Axios’s numerous daily blasts. Heck, you know what I’m talking about–you’re probably taking a break from work with this newsletter right now!
The business of newsletter writing has garnered plenty of attention for the shiny six-figure contracts some top journalists and writers have earned, a situation which remains a welcome signal to English majors who were previously brushed off as 401(k) foolish. And the “trend” isn’t slowing down. Last week, Facebook announced it will be taking on 100 local journalists for multi-year deals to report via their newsletter channel Bulletin. The social network is targeting under-reported regions and topics, primarily from communities of color or those in “news deserts.” Twitter purchased newsletter service Revue in January and is testing direct subscription through Twitter bios as of last week.
The main players in the space include, of course, Substack with its 12 million monthly subscribers. Mighty Networks brings newsletters, courses, communities and memberships together onto one tidy platform. Ghost has a cool name and an equally cool status as a non-profit and open-source platform. Medium is a free platform and discovery site for writers favored among the tech set. Patreon offers different incentives for subscribership and holds down the highest valuation.
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After outcry over its plans to remove sexually explicit content, the platform known for not much else suspends its plan.