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Why Is Everyone Talking About Newsletters?

The picture shows an employee typing on a computer keyboard at the headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow.
The picture shows an employee typing on a computer keyboard at the headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow.

Ten years ago it seemed everyone had a blog. Now? They have a newsletter.

A platform calledSubstackis making it easier than everfor writers toprofitoff their work.

As Clio Chang wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review:

“Newsletters go back at least as far as the Middle Ages, but these days, with full-time jobs at stable media companies evaporating—between the 2008 recession and 2019, newsroom employment dropped by 23 percent—Substack offers an appealing alternative. And, for many, it’s a viable source of income. In three years, Substack’s newsletters—covering almost every conceivable topic, from Australian Aboriginal rights to bread recipes to local Tennessee politics—have drawn more than two hundred fifty thousand paid subscribers.”

The success isn’t without controversy. The company has been criticized for who they allow on the platform.

What’s the big deal with newsletters anyway? And what does this all mean for our media landscape?  

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