Friday 5: Five of our favourite newsletters and sites that will help you stay informed

With social media’s instant updates, and the never-ending news cycle, it can sometimes prove difficult to stay on top of all the breaking stories that come through our screens. We’re constantly trawling the news here at Velvet, and this week we’re sharing just some of the lesser-known newsletters and sites that can help you reduce the clutter, whilst also keeping you as informed as possible.



Impartiality is incredibly important in a world filled with clickbait, bias and opinions masquerading as facts.  The 1440 newsletter strips away all the fat to bring concise and factual news stories to your inbox, all of which take a mere ten minutes to fully digest.

The email is broken down into three distinct sections; ‘Need to Know’, for those stories that you simply can’t miss; ‘In The Know’, the section focusing on interesting technology, entertainment and culture stories; and ‘Etcetera’, fun and curious articles that are perfect for sharing around the office.

Touting over 800,000 subscribers, it’s clear that 1440 is doing something right. Its impartiality is its defining feature, and it’s definitely one we recommend for those who don’t have the luxury of time.



For those looking for a slightly longer read, then Long Form is the place for you. The site compiles all the best long form content from across the internet (be it old or new), with an emphasis on those with the best stories to tell. Recent editions include pieces on:

          The rise and fall of the ultimate pandemic doomsday preppers

          The journey of Tampa Bay police recruits training in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests

          An ex-drone pilot exposing the secrets of America’s clandestine operations in the Middle East

Long form is great for in-depth, interesting, and human-led stories. They will always absorb you into the fascinating lives of the article’s interviewees, and perhaps distract you from work for a little bit too long.


The Download – MIT Technology Review

Technology doesn’t stand still. Sometimes the tech that you thought was cutting edge is no longer the crème de la crème. To solve this issue, we recommend The Download, MIT Technology Review’s daily newsletter that brings all things tech to your inbox. The site is at the forefront of tech news and focuses on the emerging technology and AI that could influence the world on a grand scale.

Covering everything from Bezos’ recent space launch to the apps that are keeping South Africa connected through its current political turmoil, it’s got a handle on a broad scope of technologies that are shaping the world as we know it. In such a fast-paced sector, it’s key that you’re up to speed, and this newsletter is second to none.


The Climate Crisis – The New Yorker

Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet today, and it’s important that we play our part, both as individuals and as an agency, by putting sustainability at the forefront of our thinking. With that in mind, we don’t miss The New Yorker’s ‘The Climate Crisis’ newsletter. Written by Bill McKibben, a man who has been covering environmental issues since the 1980s (so he really knows his stuff), it provides deep insights into the big issues, but on a personal level.

He also shares his expert opinion on all the hot button issues pertaining to sustainability, as well as deciphering the endless reports, studies and news articles around climate change that can feel overwhelming. ‘The Climate Crisis’ offers tangible suggestions on how we  can each make a difference.


Positive News

Amongst all the doom and gloom that the world has to offer, believe it or not, there is the occasional piece of good news out there. There are a lot of good news websites around, but we like Positive News the most. It goes beyond the heart-warming kitten videos and wholesome stories to provide interesting articles about those actively trying to make the world a better place.

Its beat is simple, news from around the world that will restore your faith in humanity, centering around positive climate action, inclusivity, mental health, and sustainable living. Like the story about the touring ice-cream van that’s trying to publicly explore grief, or the regular ‘What Went Right This Week’ slot, which delves into…. well, what went right that week. The site is a great way to remind yourself that not all is wrong in the world, and the newsletter can’t help but make you smile when it reaches your inbox.