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Newsletters that win awards

Hey newsletter editors, It's Mark from Revue bringing you all the important newsletter news of the we
Anna from Revue
Anna from Revue
Hey newsletter editors,
It’s Mark from Revue bringing you all the important newsletter news of the week 🗞️
Have you all binge watched Schitt’s Creek after it won all those Emmy Awards on Sunday? Well, we don’t exactly have the equivalent of the Emmy, but there are several prestigious newsletter awards and one team is about to win a big, new one soon 🌟

Newsletters that win awards
One of the biggest events in journalism is the annual conference of the Online News Association (ONA), which also comes with an award show, the Online Journalism Awards (OJA).
In 2020 the organizers added a new category: The Excellence in Newsletters award. Last week the finalists were announced and there are some great nominees:
  • Axios AM by Axios
  • Lily Lines by The Washington Post
  • Popular Information by Judd Legum
  • Race/Related by The Marshall Project, The New York Times
  • Scoop by THE CITY
It’s an interesting mix of newsletters. Axios AM is almost a classic by now. Started in 2017 and having perfected it’s smart brevity format it gets you up to speed quickly on the news to start your day. It perfectly blends factual news coverage with a personal touch and conversational tone of voice.
Then there are two niche newsletters by the big publishers. The New York Times Race/Related partnered with The Marshall Project for a one week pop-up that dives into the stories of families keeping in touch with family members in prison over the holidays. Lily Lines is a twice weekly newsletter by The Washington Post with important and empowering stories for women in the know.
The last two entries are more indicative of the recent newsletter boom. Popular Information is a paid newsletter with news for people who give a damn, and very much positioned as an antidote to ads and algorithms. The City is a digital local news platform for the people of New York. Its newsletter, The Scoop, is a concise wrap-up of what the city will be talking about that day.
Lily Lines was actually nominated for another newsletter award earlier this year, the email category of The Webby Awards. The award, however, went to two other newsletters: Assembly by the Malala Fund and By The Way, the travel newsletter in the portfolio of The Washington Post.
Assembly is a newsletter by girls and for girls aged 12-25. It’s now in its third year and all about inspiring girls with stories of other girls that saw their dreams come true. By The Way is designed around travel as a topic to attract a younger audience to The Washington Post.
While the OJA awards added a newsletter category only this year, the Webby awards have been going on for a while, with the first winner in the email category being Now I Know back in 2013.
NIK is a great success story, started in 2010 by Dan Lewis and still going strong. I always love newsletters that have been published consistently for many year. I covered some great examples in issue 14 of The Week in Newsletters but missed NIK back then. That was a big miss as Dan has done almost 2.300 issues since June 2010.
Now I Know won a Webby again in 2014, together with Refinery29, which also goes back a long way, and beat out the Quartz Daily Brief amongst others that year. It’s kind of fun to go through the winners year by year and a gives you a good sense of the evolution of newsletters over the last 7 or 8 years with CNN’s 5 things winning in 2019.
A final award with a category for editorial newsletters is the Digiday Media Award. This year’s winners were Bustle’s Inverse Daily, Grist’s The Beacon, and The Ellen Degeneres Show Newsletter.
That’s a lot of great newsletters we can all learn a lot from. And it’s amazing to see how broad the format has become, encompassing morning news briefings, deep dives on niche topics, oddities and obscurities, and arts and entertainment.
If there was an award purely focused on newsletters, what should the categories be? Best newsletter by traditional publisher? Best paid newsletter? Best newsletter first company? What else?
The week in newsletters
Here’s the newsletter news of the week to help you sharpen your knives and works towards winning one of those awards 🏆
Membership Handbook
Podcast with Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman
The Chicago Sun-Times embraces the conversational side of email
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Anna from Revue
Anna from Revue @revue

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