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The Wall Street Journal has launched a new newsletter…with a difference. Rather than a regular publishing schedule, WSJ News Debrief will only be sent when big news events happen.
That doesn’t just have to mean breaking news, either. The first edition went out last night, focused on Biden’s State of the Union address. The newsletter is aimed at making sense of big news events, “for when you have time to actually catch up, digest, and try and understand what this news event is,” Head of Newsletters Leigh Kamping-Carder told me.
I love this idea partly because it goes against almost everything publishers want from newsletters – a predictable schedule to build habit and loyalty. This isn’t one for the superfans. But for those overwhelmed and increasingly switching off over the last few years, a newsletter for ‘only the biggest news’ could just be the thing to keep them engaged, even if it is infrequently.
Good things! More women at the top increases the likelihood of women rising through the ranks of publishing orgs, for a number of reasons. But women leading this particular trio of titles could well help with wider publicity and changing the inequity still very much present in many businesses. “Women leading the most respected financial commentary in the world cannot fail to help other women in this regard,” writer Heather McGregor notes.
Now onto not-so-good things. In just a few hours, anyone with minimal coding ability and an axe to grind could launch networks of false local news sites — with plausible-but-fake news items, staff and editorial policies — using ChatGPT. No doubt the problems around fake news and ‘pink slime’ sites are about to get a whole lot worse.
A group of investors led by India-based Sun Group is trying to lure tech billionaires and Hollywood types to join its bid for Forbes, which the group values at $800 million. The opportunities identified to turn Forbes into a multi billion dollar business are worth a look for the sheer optimism. Sara Fischer and Kia Kokalitcheva politely describe them as ‘aspirational’.
This week we hear from Andrew Ramsammy, Chief Operating Officer of Word in Black. The publication was founded in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, and brings together 10 of the nation’s leading Black publishers in a news collaborative. He discusses how the collaborative came together, how they’ve tripled revenue since launching, and other areas of opportunity for publishers to come together.