The other notable newsletter curation format focuses on a top story, which is covered in detail in the newsletter, and then extended with additional links with much shorter descriptions below.
There are many examples of this format, especially from publishers who use it for their morning or evening briefings.
A nice example is the Afternoon Edition
of the Chicago Sun-Times. It’s written by one of their editors and starts off with a brief personal note and a summary of the weather of the day. A great way to make the newsletter more informal and conversational. The top story then is covered in much detail, with an image and several paragraphs of text giving readers a complete picture without having to leave the inbox. Following the top story are the other important stories of the day as well as “your daily question” section, designed to create engagement.
Many of the younger newsletter-first publishers like Morning Brew or theSkimm also use this format. theDailySkimm
, for example, starts each issue with the day’s top story. The top story is presented in a fixed format, starting with the facts, followed by several paragraphs of background and context, and eventually wrapped up with “theSkimm”, their own take on the issue. The top story usually also has a visual and several links for further reading. It is followed by a few shorter stories as well as one item to make readers smile at the very end.
A final example of the top story format, and also one of my favorite newsletters on Revue, is Casey Newton’s The Interface
for The Verge. Casey goes into great depths on the main issue, often adding several links, expanded with quotes from the articles right in the email, and extensive commentary. Below the top story, he has several sections with the most important other links of the day. The format of The Interface provides for both, depth and breadth.