Recommended by Casey Newton
Brainy and often funny explorations of our weird future, starting with tech but often branching out into music, film, and other cultural objects. (I both love and hate when Max covers the same subjects that I do, because inevitably after I read his take I feel like he got much closer to the mark.)
Veteran reporter Kim Zetter brings her rigorous reporting and keen analysis to the biggest cybersecurity crises of the day. Everyone working in online security reads Kim, and when you read her newsletter you'll know why.
Molly Knight has enviable access to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and she uses it to write deeply humane, beautifully written explorations of sports and fandom. A newsletter that belongs in the inbox of any baseball fan.
"Internet culture reporting" is a beat that sounds easier than it is; you're always at risk of wandering down obscure pathways that (A) no one has heard of and (B) almost certainly don't matter. The genius of Garbage Day is that Ryan Broderick absolutely wanders down obscure pathways, but always manages to connect them to our weird and often scary cultural moment. If I had to describe this newsletter in six words it would be "body horror, but for the internet."
Eric Newcomer is the rare Substack journalist who thrives on breaking news. His dispatches from Silicon Valley and beyond have the knowing voice of a veteran observer, but with the open-mindedness that defines a great reporter. The accompanying podcast is also well worth a listen.
This perfect newsletter arrives twice a week with grounded, tested, common-sense advice about how to get stronger without making it your whole personality. It makes me feel confident about things I have never felt confident about, while also making me laugh and comforting me. Casey Johnston is really doing something special here.
Anne Helen Petersen's deeply reported, beautifully written explorations of culture are almost indescribably idiosyncratic. But I always feel rewarded for the time I spend with her, because she's such a keen-eyed observer of the world around her. Some keywords: justice, work life, parenting, celebrity, religion. I also always look forward to her Sunday "just trust me," a truly unpredictable recommendation for one of the week's best stories across the web.
Arguments over crypto often feel religious in nature, which is part of what makes PJ Vogt's experimental podcast feel so special: he takes a ground-level view of the industry, interviewing people in and around web3 with an admirable combination of skepticism and open-mindedness. It's a deeply humane project that also manages to be formally inventive; I never feel like I'm in surer hands as a podcast listener than when Vogt is telling me about what he has learned.
Alex Kantrowitz's weekly dispatches on the tech industry show off a genuine curiosity and knack for putting events in their broader context. The accompanying podcast, which features an eclectic mix of newsmakers and journalists, is well worth a listen.
Jonathan M. Katz marries history and journalism in his always engaging newsletter, which puts current events into their proper context with a keen intellect and stylish prose. Katz is nobody's fool, and that makes his regular warnings about the danger to democracy both urgent and timely.