Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Numerous journalists, from sports writers to tech reporters, have recently launched their own, independent publications, mostly via email newsletters.

Why it matters: The rise of independent journalism has breathed new life into niche content, with tools like Substack helping subject matter experts carve out their own corner of the internet.

The state of play: Newsletters occupy critical inbox real estate, but while some are general and others broadly cover an industry, others dive deeper still, writing for a small but dedicated audience.

Take Matt Brown's Extra Points newsletter, which focuses on the business of college sports. While ESPN covers the action on the field for millions of fans, Brown covers things like athletic department budgets for a few thousand.

  • "I'm interested in UConn's schedule. I'm interested in the finances at South Dakota. And there are people who care about that, but not 200,000 people," says Brown, who used to oversee SB Nation's college team sites.
  • "The beauty of Substack is you don't need 200,000 people to be interested in what you're doing — you need 3,000 who will pay for it."

Between the lines: When the pandemic shut down college sports this spring and led to the cutting of hundreds of programs, there was increased interest in the topics Brown covers, like how college sports are funded.

  • Meanwhile, layoffs at Gannett — whose newspapers would have been covering their local universities — created a void that Brown helped fill.
  • "Most college football fans just want to look at rankings and watch games," says Brown. "As soon as that came under threat, they shifted their attention to, 'Who is deciding when and how this all comes back?'"

Go deeper

Dec 1, 2020 - Sports

Sportswriting evolution speeds up

Reggie Jackson talking to reporters in 1978. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

Sports media is facing an inflection point, spurred both by threatened access and the rise of automated coverage.

Why it matters: The delivery of information — and the content therein — will continue its rapid evolutionary process and fundamentally change the way readers consume sports.

28 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”