There is no denying that the era of traditional journalism is quickly metamorphosing into a fast-paced,
progressive and collaborative age of news distribution. The once dedicated audience of readers with enough time to sit down with a cup of coffee and read the paper front to back every morning has all but disappeared.
Today, articles posted online are browsed through and only opened for further information if the header or blurb is particularly enticing. Even more of a rarity is an article read in its entirety — once the main facts are grasped by the reader, she will move on.
While working at NBC News, self-proclaimed news junkies Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin recognized the reality of the omnipresent shift in journalism. On the forefront of a generation that characteristically dedicates just minutes to the daily news, Weisberg and Zakin decided to accept the trend and develop a solution (which would later come to be known as theSkimm) to share the news effectively and efficiently.
“We understand our readers have five minutes to stay informed and we want them to be able to jump into conversation,” Weisberg said. “So we give them information that fits into their morning routine.”
When initially developing a template for the newsletter that would engage readers, Weisberg and Zakin turned to their own daily rituals. They realized that upon waking up, they, along with all of their friends, would roll over in bed and spend a few minutes on their phones checking emails and social media updates.
That’s when the idea formed: the news doesn’t always have to be confusing and complicated. What would draw readers in would be an abridged account of goings-on that read like an email from a friend and explained complex current events in a concise and entertaining fashion.
“We saw a huge void in the marketplace for a news product geared towards [our friends’] routine and needs,” Weisberg said. “And so, we started theSkimm.”
Upon signing up for a free account, subscribers receive a daily review at 5:59 a.m. of the must-knows in order to stay informed. Each email begins with a quote of the day and is followed by witty recaps. In order to expand readership, theSkimm relies heavily on its Skimm’bassadors (college representatives) for the establishment.
“Our Skimm’bassadors understand their peers’ needs and promote theSkimm lifestyle, reaching busy student readers who want a way to stay informed beyond the bubble that sometimes can be college life,” Weisberg said.
SMU senior Brooke Bordelon is the current Skimm’bassador for SMU alongside sophomore Laurie Snyder. As a journalism major, Bordelon was eager to get involved with a news source geared towards a more youthful audience.
“To market a company that promotes the news as something young people would be interested in was exciting,” Bordelon said. “TheSkimm gives you the news in a fun and really convenient way so you don’t have to go sifting through a million different news outlets; it comes to your email first thing in the morning and you can know everything you need to quickly.”
TheSkimm covers news across the board from mainstream media, domestic, international and niche industry sources. To sign up for your free account with theSkimm, visit www.theskimm.com.