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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Important, Not Important newsletter

Finalist in News & Media


The world is changing faster than anyone could have ever imagined -- from COVID to climate, from clean energy to antibiotics, war to artificial intelligence. The deluge of news is nearly impossible to fully digest, much less act upon. And yet it's more vital than ever that each of us understand what's going on, and how it's all connected. How this change affects ourselves, and those around us.

Our goal has always been to fight for a better future -- for everyone. In 2020, we looked at the world around us, at what we'd built so far, and at our newsletter and -- being entirely bootstrapped and "indie" -- decided to pursue measurable, maximum impact. 1000x growth is not possible for us, but with a highly-influential audience, we realized we could make a more strategic impact on the world.

Strategy and Execution

In 2020, we re-designed our newsletter to more efficiently and impactfully drive understanding and action.

That strategy included:


We're over the moon with our pursuit of (more effectively) fighting for a better future -- for everyone. 

Our published newsletter sources now reflect a greater diversity of race. To date this year, BIPOC represent 48% of our published sources. We have also increased our share of sources that identify as women to 52%. All sources are vetted first for objective fact-based coverage of the subject at hand, and journalistic reputation for both the reporter and publication itself.

Our readers are far more engaged than in 2019. Open rates are on average 44% (2x industry levels), and our click-through rates on Action Steps are 8% (4x industry levels). Our readers have fought for progressive Senate candidates, COVID relief, to prevent water shutoffs, to support Black farmers, data analysis of urban heat, mental health benefits, vehicle emission standards, to improve healthy food deserts, flood relief, against malaria, and so much more.

And our most engaged readers are referring us more to their friends and colleagues: shares are up 60% and successful referrals are up 54% YOY.

Our newsletter audience -- comprised of scientists, legislators, students, activists, Fortune 50 leaders, land and ocean farmers, and founders -- is among the most impactful on the internet today, and we're working our asses off to make sure that our trust remains earned among them. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Important, Not Important