TheSkimm: Making the News An Experience for the Digital Age!

It all started with one email. On November 8th, 2012, my sister, Rena Stern Kates, forwarded me what I thought was a cluster of bolded and unbolded paragraphs. The exact email said, “You should sign up for this and forward to your friends too! A great and fun way to stay in touch with current events.” The forwarded attachment was theSkimm. Thus, my love affair with this website was born. My day cannot be started without it. The Skimm is a daily email with a simple mission: to report the news in a way that’s appropriate for readers in the digital age. The ADD generation is constantly on the go. The average person receives instant updates on what friends and relatives are doing at any given moment. Nobody has time to sit down and read the newspaper to keep up with what’s going on in the world. The Skimm was started by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin in 2012. As producers for NBC news, Weisberg and Zakin realized the need for a less time consuming way to read the news. Thus, using their passion for conveying news to the world, the Skimm was born and has solved that problem for over 10,000 subscribers. The Skimm has a simple format: short vignettes of current events.

Reading theSkimm is an experience. The first thing a reader sees is the email subject line. Some utilize song lyrics: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” Others provide friendly reminders: “punch Monday in the face.” And then there are the random, clever puns: “Skimm down for what.” Even the most unconscious of readers will feel inclined to open up their email. Next comes the quote of the day. The writers of theSkimm find the most outrageous quotes that can only be found in the “SoundByte” section of Entertainment Weekly. This is a quote from theSkimm on July 31st (also known as Harry Potter’s birthday FYI): 

“If you need to dispose of anything you shouldn’t have, we suggest you flush it now– An in-flight announcement to passengers coming back from a festival in Austrailia, warning about the drug-sniffing dogs that would greet them upon landing.

By this point, readers of theSkimm feel inclined to read more and get to the news itself. Using no more than 100 words, the Starbucks-drinking, Food-stagramming, tweeters of this generation can finally know the basics about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the drama with Vladamir Putin and the Ukraine.  Making intelligent comments at job interviews and cocktail parties has never been easier.

As an avid reader of theSkimm, I can assure you that the free subscription I started in my Junior year of high school has made a difference in the way I see the world. I can be an active member of society not only because I know the details about Election Day, but also because I can participate in a conversation about the Super Bowl, as I have read an in depth description on how to watch sports.

How can you engage with theSkimm on campus? Kelsey Segaloff (’15) is the Skimmbasador for Brandeis University. Her job is to spread the word about theSkimm to the Brandeis campus. She decided to take on this job because not only does she “LOVE” theSkimm, but everyone who she’s introduced to it loves it too. According to Segaloff, “It’s a company I really believe in.”

HerCampus Brandeis hopes that this article has convinced you to check out theSkimm because let’s face it, the only way to truly experience the glory of theSkimm is to subscribe for yourself.