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News Items Update from John Ellis
Dear All —
Thursday (9/19), the paywall falls on News Items. To those who have already subscribed, thank you. To those who wish to continue receiving it, simply click on the “Subscribe” button below, fill in the usual details and hit “send.” My new friends at Substack.com take care of the rest.
Substack just raised $15 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. So it should be a “going concern” for many years. More important, Substack will handle your personal data appropriately, which is to say: they won’t share it with anyone, ever.
An annual subscription to News Items is $90. Monthly is $10. You’ll be notified (by Substack) if and when your subscription period is nearing its end.
News Items began in the summer of 2016 after I suffered a series of brain seizures. A harrowing time. To test my mental acuity after the “events,” I used two gauges: The New York Times Crossword Puzzle and News Items.
I figured if I could complete the NYT Crossword with relative ease Monday through Thursday (and struggle a bit on Friday and Saturday), I would be roughly where I left off prior to the seizures.
I started News Items (in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign) as a way to test my ability to sort through lots of information/data and organize it into a (hopefully) coherent package.
After the election, Rupert Murdoch encouraged me to continue producing News Items and eventually it became a Wall Street Journal CEO Council newsletter. It is now an entirely independent newsletter, entirely dependent (at least for the time being) on paid subscriptions.
In the main, News Items covers three subjects: (1) the break-up of the Liberal World Order, (2) the “financialization” of everything, and (3) the future coming at us (faster than we think). It relies on about 60-70 news websites, a number of blogs, the BBC World Service, Bloomberg TV and Google Alerts. For all the talk about the imminent demise of “serious journalism,” the quality of what I read and listen to every day is astonishing.
What bias there is in News Items is in story selection. Otherwise, the items themselves are all-but-exactly faithful to the source material and mostly partial to “reported stories.” I don’t cite “opinion pieces” often and when I do, it is usually to capture some data point or news development reported inside those pieces.
At some point later this fall, Political News Items will launch as a separate subscription newsletter, curating coverage of the 2020 US presidential election and political upheaval (and elections) around the world. It will be shorter than News Items (probably no more than 8-10 items) and it will include some commentary and analysis from me.
In the meantime, a subscription to News Items gets you the morning email Monday through Friday by 7am ET and on Saturdays by 9am ET. It also includes access to the News Items archive and to columns written by me for various publications.
I am partial to publishing in The Boston Globe because I was a columnist there for a number of years and my editor at the time, Marjorie Pritchard, still presides. We’ve collaborated on two columns to date. More are in the pipeline.
Part of my arrangement with the Globe is that I can post what I’ve written for them immediately after it has been posted on the Globe’s website. Which means you can read it in real time (so to speak) without bumping into a second paywall.
So that’s the deal.
I’ll end by saying thank you to Rupert Murdoch for affording me the opportunity (and the time) to start up and develop what has been and continues to be a fascinating project. We really do live in the most interesting of times, maybe ever.
All Best - JE