Is 1440 News Safe? Review.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘1440 | Why This Unbiased Newsletter is Wrong | Review’ by Spencer Snyder

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
1440 claims impartiality with extensive coverage, relying on sponsors and ads, briefly covering significant topics, lacking depth, and featuring a forgettable conclusion; a new aggregator called “opt-out” with independent journalists is promoted.

Key Insights

  • 1440 claims to be an impartial, comprehensive daily news source with almost a million subscribers.
  • They scour hundreds of sources to provide a five-minute read covering culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more.
  • While they prioritize neutrality and cutting through biased opinions, they heavily rely on advertising and sponsors in their newsletter.
  • The need-to-know section includes three stories, some of which are of questionable significance to most people and are miscategorized.
  • They briefly mention player compensation in college football but devote more space to meaningless sports stats, suggesting a lack of depth and consequential reporting.
  • The newsletter includes several pieces on Afghanistan following the US withdrawal, but they fail to provide important context and depth on the issue.
  • 1440's claim of being a comprehensive daily news source is challenged, as they focus on providing brief updates rather than delving into the complexity of significant events.
  • The "In the Know" section consists of varying importance headlines and ads, followed by a trivial "etc" section.
  • The newsletter concludes with an inspirational quote, which is likened to a banal and forgettable stock image of a sunset.
  • The video suggests an alternative news aggregator called "opt-out" launching next month, which is independent and features journalists like Abby Martin and David Sirota.

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Transcript

1440 is a newsletter that has almost a million subscribers and claims to be your impartial, comprehensive daily news source. We scour a hundred plus sources so you don’t have to – culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more, all in a five-minute read. So let’s see how close they come to actually delivering on all of that.

Now, they make a big deal out of neutrality and cutting through bias, overwhelmed by opinion disguised as fact and relentless clickbait. 1440 provides an impartial view of what’s happening in the world so our readers can form their own conclusions. We scour hundreds of sources each day to bring you a single morning briefing, thoughtfully curated by experts.

While they are very concerned about clickbait and covert opinions, they appear less concerned with profit incentive and the corrosive effect of advertising because when we arrive at the newsletter itself, the first thing we’re met with is the sponsor every day. This newsletter has a new sponsor that gets two separate ad spaces in addition to their feature at the very top. The ads just happen to be distinguishable from but look very similar to the newsletter’s actual content.

Now, the main portion is their “need to know” section, which every weekday contains three stories. Being the main section of their already incredibly condensed five-minute news brief, you would expect the most consequential topics to appear here. Yet, a few of these stories are of questionable significance to most people. Boeing’s Starliner being shelved, Alabama football turns out they beat Ohio State in last year’s playoffs, and the R Kelly trial beginning.

So at the very least, they have an issue with miscategorizing things because Starliner being shelved should go in science and tech, Alabama football, to the extent that it should be included in a news brief at all, should go in sports, and one in ten Americans is unbanked should probably not go in their “Etc” section. But actually, they inadvertently touched on something that could have been interesting. In their two and a half paragraphs on Alabama football, they briefly mentioned player compensation. This year is the first that athletes will be able to earn income under updated name, image, and likeness rules. See early data on compensation earned here. Now, that is a rich topic because despite college players participating in highly viewed games and having their likenesses used in hugely profitable video games, their compensation has been scant. Terrible stories have come to light about players getting injured and losing their scholarships.

It seems that part of neutrality, though, is not spending too much time on stories in which entire institutions are going to be indicted by the sheer facts of the matter. So, why did 1440 choose to give that detail a very bland sentence and a half but devote a full two paragraphs to some meaningless sports stats? Was that some sort of calculation in neutrality? Because wouldn’t reporting on the material conditions of these collegiate athletes be more consequential and to more people? Because those football stats mean nothing to me. But from the tweet linked in 1440, while one unnamed athlete earned $210,000 in July, the median name, image, likeness income for the month was just $35.

Now, five of the 15 pieces in their “need-to-know” section for the week were on Afghanistan following the decision to fully withdraw US forces. But what these pieces show more than anything is the hollowness of the newsletter’s project and the “just the facts” attitude. Because the dominant mode of the media has been to highlight the chaos in places like Kabul and directly or indirectly put that on the Biden administration, and this newsletter essentially does that. Now, a newsletter simply running down the very latest of the region is fine if you don’t also claim that this single newsletter essentially contains all the information one needs – comprehensive daily news source, all your news in a single email. If only there was an all-in-one source where we could efficiently digest the most important news. Because if this is all the information you get, then you’re probably missing out on some pretty important context, like understanding that this was the result of 20 years of failed policies and policymakers, many of whom are now acting as commentators. Would be a level of depth that a few blurbs on the latest updates could never contain, despite 1440’s claim to breadth plus depth.

Now the blurbs were fine. But in the information landscape that 1440 claims to want to mend, they’re promulgating this idea that all one needs to be informed is a kind of news multivitamin, as long as the thimble of news you’re getting appears neutral. Which, a bunch of people reading a single newsletter in the morning and being smug about it would seem pretty petty to talk about if not for the fact that it’s a million people and growing. So it’s a misconception that is widely espoused. And of course, it’s not perfectly neutral, anyway, whatever that even means. Because predictably, from an outlet that apparently figured out how to drain the news at corrupting opinions, they generally omit anything that feels adversarial or that leaves the safety of the common conversation. Things like the fact that polls show most Americans support the withdrawal, even if they don’t support the execution, or that defense stocks are up a thousand percent since the start of the war. These are facts, too, just I guess not ones that they deemed important enough for their “need to know” section.

Now, the next part of the newsletter, what they call their “in the know” section, is more or less a collection of headlines bookended by ads. These are items of varying importance, some totally unimportant, and then this is followed by what they essentially acknowledged to be trivial in their “etc” section. That was the section with the “one in ten Americans” is unbanked. And then they end with an inspirational quote that wraps up the whole newsletter. Which, I think, is actually quite fitting because when I think of the phrase “inspirational quote”, I think of a stock image of a sunset that was posted by someone’s aunt, and laid over that sunset is some text that appears to have depth but is actually banal and forgettable.

And those are my thoughts on 1440. But if you’re looking for a cool news aggregator that is independent and that doesn’t rely on a daily rotation of corporate sponsors, Opt-Out is an app that’s launching next month. I just signed on with them, so my videos are gonna be featured. I’m really excited to basically have a feed that’s populated with only people like Abby Martin and David Sirota and journalism of value. They didn’t ask me to say any of that. I’m just really excited about the app. Also, I have to thank Mike Figueredo of The Humanist Report for featuring me on his channel recently. Thanks so much to him. And if you’re here from The Humanist Report, thanks for checking out my channel. It means a lot.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘1440 | Why This Unbiased Newsletter is Wrong | Review’ by Spencer Snyder