It’s been a huge few years in the world of media. From major corporate sell offs, to #fakenews, and big changes in Australian newsrooms, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. Scandals aside, it’s also an exciting time for news and media innovations — from podcasts, to bots, and cool new apps. Here’s six of the coolest […]

We’re normally pretty humble, but here are some things we’ve worked on (or thought about) that we think are worth sharing.
Kasi Talbot
January 03, 2018
Six of the coolest news sources we're digging at Sling & Stone

It’s been a huge few years in the world of media. From major corporate sell offs, to #fakenews, and big changes in Australian newsrooms, it’s been a rollercoaster ride.

Scandals aside, it’s also an exciting time for news and media innovations — from podcasts, to bots, and cool new apps.

Here’s six of the coolest ways to get your daily fix, according to the horde of news junkies at Sling & Stone.

Drink up!

The Daily, by The New York Times

Over the last nine months, The Daily podcast by the New York Times hosted by Michael Barbaro has taken off in a huge way (globally, and in the Sling & Stone office!). The Daily represents a shift in traditional journalism and in particular the way that the The New York Times engages its readers. In its own words, it’s ‘How news should sound’. Check out their recent Year in Sound — an audio capsule of 2017.

Delivered five days a week and running for 20 minutes, The Daily delivers a potent, succinct and thoughtful dose of politics, social and economic news.

Why we love it: It’s a curious discussion that taps into the incredible unpublished knowledge and insight the New York Times’ team has. The format includes vox-pops and on-the-ground sound recordings that add a depth of context and emotion a written story just can’t achieve, and that you’d take for granted in a television broadcast. It’s kind of like a good, shorter, newsier episode of This American Life. Could Michael Barbaro be the next Ira Glass?

Unchained, by Forbes

How well do you understand crypto assets or blockchain technology? They have the potential to transform our interaction with financial services – from the way we earn money, spend and invest, but it can be difficult to convince people of their authenticity.

Hosted by Laura Chin, a Senior Editor at Forbes, the weekly Unchained podcast talks about all the big ideas that are coming out of the worlds of blockchain and cryptocurrency. She brings in intriguing guests from across the space to help break down bitcoin, common misconceptions that surround cryptocurrencies, and explore the global impact of distributed technologies.

Why we love it: Our new Kiwi Slinger Leni Maiai walked into our office bumping this out of a boombox in his backpack, and the team hasn’t looked back since. Now, to keep watching that bitcoin holding go up … and up … and …

How I Built This, from NPR

Did you know that one of the world’s biggest fitness brands, Zumba, started as a mistake? Or that a chance encounter with a stranger led to the launch of Airbnb? In this weekly podcast, host of NPR’s How I Built This, Guy Raz, talks to some of the world’s best-known companies and brands about their journey – including the triumphs and failures and the lessons they’ve learned.

From the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, to Virgin’s Richard Branson, and to the Australian founder of baby blanket company Aden + Anais, and Raegan Moya-Jones, Raz delves into the stories behind some of the most iconic brands in the world.

Why we love it: In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re a little bit passionate (obsessed?) about the amazing challengers and disrupters that we work with every day. So, when there’s a podcast that is devoted to the stories behind some of the world’s most impressive entrepreneurs, idealists and innovators, we had to get on board.

Espresso, by The Economist

Launched in 2014 but a recent favourite at Sling & Stone, The Economist’s Espresso app briefs readers on the morning news, before 6 am. It expertly summarises the topics on the global agenda for the day – across politics, finance and business news – into five articles of 150 words or less. That’s no easy feat when this publication is founded on writing stories that don’t skimp on important context!

There are three editions, Asia, Europe and the American version, which overlap but are regionalised as needed. The articles, while snappy, are written by The Economist journalists as stand-alone pieces, occasionally linking to a more in-depth piece about a particular topic.

Why we love it: It’s global news delivered straight to your phone, before breakfast, that you can digest in one quick gulp. It means we can start our day with a clear overview of the topics that will be driving the newsrooms around the country and the world.

The Quartz mobile app

This one has been around a year or two now, but we’re still loving Quartz’s mobile app. It’s far from your usual newsroom digest: Powered by a bot, it’s an ongoing conversation about the news — sort of like texting with an entire newsroom.

The team at Quartz are constantly pushing the boundaries with new ways to engage audiences online. We particularly liked their US Election bot integration with Slack (aptly named ‘Quackbot’), along with some of their experimental work with charts and data with The Atlas, and Index, which keeps a pulse on the global economy.

Why we love it: Chatting to a bot about the daily news is a pretty unique experience. Anything that encourages people to engage with information about the world around them is a winner in our books.

Tasty, by BuzzFeed

OK so, while not technically news, we couldn’t resist throwing this one in. Tasty is BuzzFeed’s hit foodie content series, filled with useful, quirky and outright awesome tips to improve your culinary skillz.

Putting our media industry hat on, it’s a genius business idea and revenue stream for BuzzFeed, and the Tasty Cookbook is definitely top of the Christmas gift list this year.

Why we love it: We’re mad foodies at Sling & Stone and many a plate that’s been brought to a Slinger function has originated from one the quirky (and delicious) Tasty videos.

So that’s a wrap. What’s your hot tip for a cool media fix?

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