Newsletters I’m following in early 2021

Email newsletters are enjoying a renaissance now.  A growing number of people are either starting to write them or have shifted their writing practice to newsletters. Several platforms have appeared and won both writers and readership, such as Substack.  Business models are in play.

newsletter aaron_davisI’ve been reading these for years.  I haven’t written any, although people sometimes describe the FTTE report as a newsletter (I don’t think it is, given format and periodicity).  I have Thoughts about how newsletters work and what they mean for the future of technology and culture, but I’d like to start off by putting forth examples. So in the spirit of my podcast listening posts (most recent), I’d like to share a sample of the newsletters I’m following.

To be clear: I’m not defining newsletters beyond “email communications that call themselves newsletters.” I’m not including emails that are just announcements lists, or blog posts received through email, nor blog post comment updates.

This list is pretty heterogeneous.  Some of the writers oppose others in the same category. That’s because my research is broad-ranging.  Inclusion on this post doesn’t necessarily mean endorsement of all views expressed in a newsletter.

I’ve broken these down into categories, then alphabetized entries under each by author or title. Then I added a few sketchy remarks to each.


Credential Engine – updates on academic credentialing.

The Edge – reporting on developments in academia from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Goldie Blumenstyk.

Educational Pathways – George Lorenzo examines higher education.

FutureEd – glimpses of education’s future from Georgetown folks that aren’t me.

The Geyser – keen analysis of scholarly communication.

Hechinger Report – thoughtful and heartfelt reporting on education.

Anya Kamenetz – an energetic range of education news and analysis.

Michael Horn – a look at higher ed from a business perspective.

latitude(s) – examines global higher education.

Observatory of Higher Education – from Tecnológico de Monterrey, exploring technology, education, and innovation.

One Thought To Start Your Day – Alex Usher’s incisive, data-driven, and sometimes very funny analysis of higher education, starting from Canada.

Teaching – a focus on teaching practice, by Beth McMurtrie and Beckie Supiano, of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thought Shrapnel – Doug Belshaw’s musings on technology, organizations, work, mind, and learning.

University Business’ newsletter – a sample from UB.

University World News – a scan of global academic developments.

Audrey Watters – a rich mix of educational technology news items, critique, advocacy, and history.

newsletter by foam


Astral Codex Ten – I never really followed the author’s previous project, a blog/discussion site called Slate Star Codex, so I wanted to see what all the shouting was about.

The Borowitz Report – cute satire of current events.

Freddie deBoer – musings on culture from a literary-left perspective.

Notabilia and Katexic – delicious delving into language and literature by the fiercely creative Chris Lott.

Old Anima – George Lorenzo thoughtfully looks at aging.

Anne Helen Petersen – writing on various cultural issues, so far as I’ve read.


Axios Space – short news blasts about space travel and technology.

Box of Amazing – miscellaneous notes on technology.

Nature Briefings – updates on current science.


Axios China – very condensed pointers to Chinese developments.

Bloomberg Prognosis – a look at COVID’s progress through the human race.

The Hustle – an energetic and attitude-drenched look at current events and culture.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the United States Centers for Disease Control – data and research into how we die, what kills us, and related topics.

Noahpinion – various takes on a wide range of current topics.

SupChina – another look into Chinese affairs.

newsletter by Dacian Dorca

TK News – Matt Taibbi’s fine written and skeptical approach to current events.

United States Census – I subscribe to several of these, each of which provides data about a swathe of American life.


Axios Markets – highlights of the economic world.


Bloomberg Green – a business-oriented view of climate change and the environment.

Carbon Brief Daily – a summary of current developments and fresh science.

The Climate Crisis – Bill McKibben’s New Yorker newsletter, which is usually one half his take on one climate story and another half interview with someone else.

Heated – Emily Atkin’s angry coverage of climate change and who’s driving it.


Axios Future – interesting snippets of future-oriented stories.

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk – occasional thoughts from a fascinating outfit.

Futurity Today – primarily science and technology stories from the University of Rochester.

Geopolitical Futures – notes about global politics.

The Medical Futurist – focusing on emerging health care.

Gerd Leonhard – a European futures scanner.

Are you reading any of these? Any others to recommend?

(images by Aaron Davis, foam, and Dacian Dorca)

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10 Responses to Newsletters I’m following in early 2021

  1. Glen McGhee, FHEAP says:

    Under higher education, I’m surprised that David Halperin’s Republic Report isn’t on the list.
    For example, he’s the ONLY blog following the demise of ACICS, the inept accreditor that was already de-recognized once before.
    His missives are consistently insightful, and provide an insider’s view of the workings of US DOE.

  2. Noni says:

    Wow, I have a lot more to read now! Thanks, I guess?

    I would add Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter to your politics section.

  3. Arqam Azhar says:

    Thank you for this great list of #Newsletters Bryan.
    Lot of catching up to do on my reading!

  4. kleurplaten says:


    I completely resonate with this! The resurgence of email newsletters is
    undeniable. It’s refreshing to see more writers embracing this medium, offering
    a more intimate and focused connection with their audience. The diverse
    platforms popping up also add a dynamic touch to the newsletter landscape.
    Exciting times for content consumption! 📧✨

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