The Best Media Newsletters for Anyone Working in Journalism, Advertising, Communications, and Tech

As part of our own process of writing a weekly newsletter about the media industry, we at The Idea read a lot of other media newsletters ourselves. Below are some of our favorites.

The Idea
The Idea
Mar 26, 2018 · 4 min read

For links to top news:

American Press Institute’s Need to Know

  • Focus: Journalism
  • Expect it: Weekday mornings
  • Description: API’s daily newsletter is packed with links to the most important journalism news of the day. It includes article pull-outs to contextualize some of the top stories.
  • Sample it here.

Nieman Lab’s Daily Digest

  • Focus: Journalism
  • Expect it: Weekday afternoons
  • Description: Nieman Lab’s daily newsletter primarily links back to its own content — not a bad thing, considering Nieman has great coverage of innovation in journalism. Ken Doctor’s in-depth analysis of the biggest media stories and Nick Quah’s commentary on podcasting make Nieman Lab a must read.

AdExchanger’s Optimizing the News

  • Focus: Advertising
  • Expect it: Weekday mornings
  • Description: AdExchanger’s daily newsletter offers platform and publisher news through an advertiser’s lens, among other advertising news. Many of the publisher-relevant stories featured in AdExchanger’s news roundup aren’t referenced by any of the other newsletters.
  • Sample it here.

The Splice Newsroom’s Slugs

  • Focus: Media in Asia
  • Expect it: Thursday evenings
  • Description: With a splash of personality, Alan Soon covers media news and trends for a primarily Asian market. The Splice Newsroom recently came out with a new design-focused newsletter, Splice Frames, penned by Rishad Patel. (Note: we did an unrelated Q&A with Alan earlier, which you can check out here.)
  • Sample it here.

For original analysis:

CJR’s The Media Today

  • Focus: Journalism
  • Expect it: Weekday mornings
  • Description: For those of you who read The Idea, CJR’s The Media Today is the most similar to The Idea in format. Each issue starts with news and analysis of the biggest story of the day, and concludes with a few blurbs of other big stories to check out.
  • Sample it here.

Axios Media Trends

  • Focus: Media
  • Expect it: Tuesday mornings
  • Description: Sara Fischer’s Media Trends rounds up the top ten or so media stories of the week, explaining what they are and why they matter in a pithy, digestible way. Media Trends is broader in scope than a lot of the other newsletters on this list — whereas the others are written for publishers & journalists or advertisers, Sara covers publishers, broadcasters, platforms, and advertisers.
  • Sample it here.

For deeper dives:

The Lenfest Institute’s Solution Set

  • Focus: Journalism
  • Expect it: Thursday mornings
  • Description: This new weekly newsletter penned by Joseph Lichterman dives deep into one innovative idea in journalism each week — including an analysis of strategy, stats, lessons, and what to look for in the future. It’s quite lengthy, but Joseph includes a handy TL;DR cheatsheet up top for the time-pressed. (Note: we’ve done an unrelated Q&A with Joseph earlier, which you can check out here.)
  • Sample it here.

Nick Quah’s Hot Pod

  • Focus: Podcasts
  • Expect it: Tuesday mornings
  • Description: Another long one with a TL;DR up top, Nick Quah’s Hot Pod is the best newsletter out there on podcasting, featuring lots of smart analysis. There’s a paid membership too, which gets you twice-a-week coverage of the podcasting market.
  • Sample it here.

For those who want to pay:

Ben Thompson’s Stratechery

  • Focus: Tech and Media
  • Price: $10/month (or $100/year)
  • Expect it: Monday-Thursday mornings
  • Description: A paid subscription gets you four deep dive analyses on the business of tech and media. You can’t predict exactly what you’re going to get, but you can be sure Thompson will explain both the foundational systems and nitty gritty details at play in a way that demonstrates an unparalleled understanding of how tech, media, policy, and economics intersect. Not ready to shell out? Thompson posts a fourth analysis for free each week on the Stratechery website, which you can check out here.
  • Sample it here.

A longer list of other newsletters and resources we like:

  • POLITICO’s Morning Media, which covers political media. It can be a roller coaster of a read in the current administration — hold on tight.
  • Atlantic 57’s Digital Trends Index, written by our friends upstairs, covers trends in digital media with humor and sharp expertise.
  • The Cohort from The Poynter Institute looks specifically at women in digital media. Poynter has an entire slate of newsletters that covers various topics within journalism.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today is written primarily for marketers but is loaded with breaking news and analysis for anyone in media.
  • A lot of Recode Daily’s content falls outside of media, but analyses from Peter Kafka and Kara Swisher are almost always worth the read.
  • Mediagazer doesn’t have a newsletter, but the website compiles content on digital media and journalism from solid sources all across the web.
  • We keep up with Ken Doctor and his Newsonomics column, which covers the economics of journalism. The column is syndicated on NiemanLab.
  • Inside Social highlights a few important but under-circulated stories covering the inner workings of social platforms. The whole Inside slate is worth checking out as a unique digital media model.

If there’s another media newsletter you think we should check out, let us know in the comments!

The Idea is a Monday newsletter giving you the intel on the media trends and innovations you need to know about to be ready for the week ahead. It features Q&As with media innovators working across executive, product, editorial, and partnership roles. The Idea is written by the Strategy team at Atlantic Media, home of The Atlantic, Quartz, Government Executive, and National Journal. Check us out here, and subscribe!

The Idea

A weekly newsletter on the business of media from @AtlanticMedia, home of @TheAtlantic, @NationalJournal and @GovExec. Subscribe here: bit.ly/2miVHiQ

The Idea

Written by

The Idea

A weekly newsletter on media trends from @AtlanticMedia, home of @TheAtlantic, @NationalJournal and @GovExec. Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/2miVHiQ

The Idea

The Idea

A weekly newsletter on the business of media from @AtlanticMedia, home of @TheAtlantic, @NationalJournal and @GovExec. Subscribe here: bit.ly/2miVHiQ

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