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Trend: Journalists switching to newsletter thanks to a startup

Trend: Journalists switching to newsletter thanks to a startup

San Francisco-based Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best and Jairaj Sethi are the co-founders of the email newsletter platform Substack, which has seen its active writers more than double since the start of the pandemic.

by Bobby Allyn/NPR

As a tech journalist for the website The Verge, Casey Newton established himself as something of a Silicon Valley institution. Known for a mix of original reporting and gimlet-eyed analysis, his writing has become essential reading for those who want to better understand the industry.

This fall, he quit his steady job at The Verge to start an email newsletter with Substack, a San Francisco-based startup.

"All of a sudden this thing comes along where it's like, imagine never having to ask your boss for a raise again. All you have to do is do good work and attract customers," Newton said. "That just seems like a really fun game to play."

Substack provided Newton a website and slick email tools. It offered him the added perks of a health-care subsidy and access to a legal defense fund. Newton does his own marketing.

"All I have to do is find a few thousand people who will pay me $10 a month or $100 a year and I'll have one of the best jobs in journalism," Newton said.

Read the rest at NPR to find out how several journalists are switching to newsletters to opt out of the social media rat race.

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San Francisco-based Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best and Jairaj Sethi are the co-founders of the email newsletter platform Substack, which has seen its active writers more than double since the start of the pandemic/NPR