Select Page


17 April 2019

Tortoise on the road

Here at Tortoise we want to involve as many people as possible. Although most of our ThinkIns are held in London, we often venture out of the newsroom to take our journalism around the globe. We do this because we want to get to the heart of a story. We went to the Greek island of Lesvos to host a ThinkIn on the refugee crisis, and to Birmingham to gain a better understanding of the resistance to teaching LGBT issues in schools. We’ve already been to Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Davos, New York, Manchester and Washington DC, to name a few. We’re looking forward to travelling even more, and perhaps seeing you along the way.

2 April 2019

Tortoise is live

After two months in beta, prepping and perfecting the Tortoise product, we are really proud to announce that we have launched. Become a member, book your place at a ThinkIn, or have a browse through our stories.

25 March 2019

Introducing Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is the new arts editor at Tortoise Media. She is also a theatre critic for The Guardian, and was formerly the Independent’s Literary Editor, having joined the paper in 2001 as a news reporter. From 2017 to February 2019 she was Head of Content for the crowd-funding publisher, Unbound, where she launched and edited the long-form literary website, Boundless. She has contributed to the Observer, the Financial Times, and the Daily Mail, and appeared on Sky News as a regular newspaper reviewer.

21 March 2019

Google DNI Fund

The Digital News Innovation (DNI) Fund is a €150 million project launched by the Google News Initiative. Its aim is to enable European journalism to succeed in the digital age. Tortoise is thrilled to be accepting an investment from the DNI Fund to help us build a different kind of newsroom.

12 March 2019

Tortoise Intelligence Announced

At Tortoise we want to cut through the noise to find out what’s really going on. To help us do this, we’ve launched Tortoise Intelligence, gathering data in indices to tell the bigger story. This will give us the ability to measure and track particular issues globally, using various indicators to spot trends and make forecasts. Led by Alexandra Mousavizadeh, who has over 20 years’ experience in data analysis, the Tortoise Intelligence team will work to deliver the ultimate form of slow news.

4 February 2019

Fora announced as Founding Partner of Tortoise

We’re thrilled to announce that Fora, provider of beautiful, professional, flexible workspaces to businesses including Tortoise, has become a Founding Partner. Residents at all Fora’s locations will get complimentary membership of Tortoise. Our newsroom, where we host many of our ThinkIns, is at Fora Eastcastle Street.

17 January 2019

Meet Edith: Tortoise cartoonist extraordinaire

Edith draws for Tortoise. Cartoonists are famously shy and mysterious (aren’t they?) but in today’s edition, Edith shares a little about what drives her – from mad enthusiasms, tiny breakdowns and why it’s important to laugh at everything.

14 January 2019

James Harding explains what Tortoise is for

In today’s edition, Tortoise co-founder and Editor James Harding explains why Tortoise exists, what we’re trying to achieve and how we’ll try to achieve it.

14 January 2019

Tortoise begins publishing to Founding Members

At 11am GMT today, the first digital edition of Tortoise went live. It leads with a report on the opioid epidemic in the north east of England; a story that, true to our slow news principles, the team has been working on for six months.

16 November 2018

Tortoise is the biggest journalism project ever on Kickstarter

Tortoise’s launch campaign closed today with a total fund value of £539,035 and over 3,000 founding members. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Kickstarter community, we’re now able to do essential things that will make Tortoise a reality – like develop the iOS app, make a start on the first quarterly print edition and furnish the newsroom at our new central London HQ where we’ll be hosting ThinkIns from January.

13 November 2018

Tortoise welcomes Merope Mills to the team

Merope has joined Tortoise from the Guardian where she was assistant editor, having previously been editor of the Saturday paper, Weekend magazine and most recently setting up an office based in San Francisco covering technology, the environment, entertainment and other big west coast themes.

12 November 2018

Tortoise welcomes Chris Cook and Giles Whittell to the team

Chris has been Policy Editor on Newsnight since 2014, and will join Tortoise as Editor and Partner in January 2019. His work won Newsnight two Royal Television Society awards. Giles joins Tortoise from The Times, where he was a correspondent in LA, Moscow and Washington before becoming chief leader-writer. He’s also the author of several books including Bridge of Spies and most recently Snow: The Biography.

9 November 2018

Tortoise co-founder Katie Vanneck-Smith on the Media & Marketing podcast

Katie talks to John Reynolds about membership, pop-ups and Google.

17 October 2018

Tortoise co-founder James Harding on the BBC’s Media Show podcast

In a special ‘bonus’ edition of the Media Show, James talks to Amol Rajan about slow news.

16 October 2018

Tortoise Kickstarter campaign launch

Tortoise has today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. We hope to recruit Founding Members who will support the development of Tortoise throughout our beta phase which begins in January 2019. Pledges range from £10 to £8,000 in value and include all manner of tantalising merchandise and experiences – from badges, stationery and posters to dinner with our co-founders.


Tom Dewar

It’s still only in beta, but I can already highly recommend @tortoise. It’s the news equivalent of dipping your head in a cool, glacier-fresh stream on a scorching-hot day

Stephen Mangan

I’ve just pledged on this intriguing project: Tortoise. Slower, more considered news. Current news cycle speed making my brain ache.

Andrew Smyth

This is exciting and necessary. “We don’t do breaking news, but what’s driving the news. Not the news as it happens, but when it’s ready.” I’ve pledged @tortoise