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Newsletters have a history even longer than newspapers, and email is several decades older than the web. Despite this lengthy pedigree, email newsletters are having a very buzzy moment — and here at The New York Times, we’re striving to bring even more depth, ambition and scale to our lineup.
This summer marks 20 years since The Times published its first newsletters. We started off in 2001 covering technology, books and finance, among other topics. Some of those newsletters are still thriving, in various incarnations, as part of a portfolio that reaches some 15 million people every week — a number that has surged over the last two years. Flagships such as The Morning and DealBook serve as a destination for readers and a crucial gateway and guide to our journalism, while offering original reporting and analysis.
As the editorial director of Times newsletters, I’ve been thinking with my colleagues about what comes next. How can we break new ground in the inbox and deliver sophisticated coverage of the topics that our readers care about most?
Newsletters are already a core part of our subscriber experience: Nearly half of our subscribers engage with a newsletter every week. This week, we’re pulling back the curtain on a new kind of Times journalism: more than 15 newsletters that will be available only to our subscribers. The goal is to continue developing the inbox as a destination for our journalism, and to add value to a Times subscription.
The first batch focuses on topics that our readers are passionate about, is staffed by journalists with deep expertise and features exciting, diverse new voices. It includes newsroom favorites Well, On Tech, At Home and Away, On Soccer and Watching, and columnists like Paul Krugman and Jamelle Bouie.
It also features a new set of newsletters in Opinion (which remains a completely separate, independent entity, apart from our news operation):
John McWhorter, a Columbia University linguist, will explore how race and language shape our politics and culture.
Kara Swisher, host of the “Sway” podcast, will open her notebook to track the changing power dynamics in tech and media.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will offer a sociologist’s perspective on culture, politics and the economics of our everyday lives.
Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest, will reflect on matters of faith in private life and public discourse.
Peter Coy, a veteran business and economics journalist, will use his decades of expertise to unpack the biggest headlines.
Jay Caspian Kang, a wide-ranging cultural critic and New York Times Magazine contributor, will tackle thorny questions about politics, culture and the economy.
Jane Coaston, host of “The Argument” podcast, will offer context to and analysis on the biggest debates in sports, politics and history.
All of these subscriber-only newsletters represent a unique collection of talent and expertise in Opinion and the newsroom, assisted by editors, designers, developers, product managers and other specialists.
We’ve spent most of the last year working toward this launch, and more new and revamped newsletters — including a new version of On Politics and a revamped Smarter Living focused on back-to-work issues — will join this initial batch in the coming months.