Slow down, wise up

What’s different about Tortoise is slow news. Not breaking news, but what’s driving it.

Our award-winning team doesn’t cover every story but takes the time to reveal just one a week. Calm, clear reporting on the stories that matter most.

sensemaker our daily roundup of the news that matters

Elite embarrassment

26 February 2021
Giles Whittell
  • Joe Biden ordered US air strikes on Iran-backed militia targets in Syria that killed “up to a handful” of people.
  • Shamima Begum was told she can’t return to the UK to appeal the decision to strip her of UK citizenship for joining Isis.
  • Boris Johnson thanked Blackpink, the K-pop girl band with 35 million Instagram followers, for taping a message on the importance of acting against climate change. 

In January, there’s Davos. All year round, there’s McKinsey. If ever one company served as a lightning rod for criticism of – and conspiracy theories about – global elites, it’s the consulting firm with 650 partners, dozens of governments on its client list and more than $10 billion in annual revenues (although as a partnership it doesn’t have to say how much more). 

the pandemic

Everything you need to know about Covid-19

For a year now, one story has dominated the news cycle above all others. We’ve aimed to take the long-view of Covid-19: we’ve investigated the catastrophe of the test and trace system, the crisis in care homes, and the extended after-effects of the disease.

This week

Our recent Files

a four-part podcast series

Hidden homicides

How many women are killed – but not counted?

The vaccine

Our way out of the coronavirus pandemic has been discovered – but not yet delivered.

Immigration & asylum

As the post-Brexit era begins, what does Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vision of “global Britain” mean?

More of our Files from 2020

Meet the editor
“In my recent journalism, I’ve been digging into the dysfunction at the heart of the UK government. Here’s an example, along with some other recent Tortoise articles I’ve enjoyed.”
Matt d’Ancona

Our members like

Photo essays

Our friends in the North
Xiomara Bender
29 June 2019

Bitter harvest
Mariano Silletti
16 November 2019

The wee muckers
Toby Binder
12 October 2019

Circus Love
Stephanie Gengotti
02 August 2019

Line in the sand
Pascal Maitre
7 February 2020

Life at the top
Kadir van Lohuizen and Yuri Kozyrev 
27 April 2019

No agua, no vida
John Trotter
30 November 2019

Isolated from the world
Jordi Ruiz Cirera
10 March 2019

Europe’s last pastoral
Rena Effendi
16 March 2019

Crunching the numbers

Discovering stories in big datasets.

Responsibility 100 Index

A ranking of the FTSE 100 companies on their contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, measuring their commitment to key social, environmental and ethical objectives such as carbon reduction, gender equality and good business practices.

The Global AI Index

Which countries are winning the race for the future?


The pandemic didn’t affect all of Britain equally.

Net zero

Tortoise members have been working on how to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Fighting for justice

Arts & Culture

Creative Sensemaker

Our weekly guide to all that’s best in culture and the arts – movies, streaming, books, music, galleries and much else.

Big five

The forces changing our world

The 100 year life
health. education. living. public policy.
Our planet
environment. natural resources. geopolitics.

New things
technology. science. engineering.
society. identity. countries. beliefs. arts.
investment. fairness. prosperity.