Tortoise: A Different Kind of Newsroom


Tortoise is creating a different kind of newsroom. They believe that to live well in an age when everything moves at breakneck speed, we need to take the time to investigate what’s really going on, to make sense of the forces shaping our future.

Tortoise is on a mission to get the world to slow down and wise up.

They don’t do breaking news, but what’s driving the news. They don’t cover every story, but reveal a few. They take the time to see the fuller picture and offer a concise point of view – informing and informed by their members. A place in both the real and digital worlds, where you can come to learn and to share your views.
Your membership of Tortoise includes live and digital experiences:

ThinkIns are at the heart of Tortoise. They are a forum for civilised disagreement, designed to harness the experience and expertise of member and shape the way they see the world. Members and guests can join the conversation in person – both in the London newsroom and at venues across the UK – or watch live online.

• The slow newsfeed – a digital edition lands in the app and online every day, with no more than five concise pieces, each tackling one subject or story, in depth.

• A small book of big reads – the Tortoise quarterly e-book. Modern fables, true tales, old stories re-examined, new ones revealed.

An Unrivalled Benefit for Circle Sq. Members


Circle Sq. in partnership with Tortoise have created a something very special for our Members. If you’re eligible for a Freedom Pass or other free travel card (and no, you’re not a student…) you receive access to the Tortoise live and digital newsroom for free. This means that if you’re 60 or over and a Circle Sq. Member, we’ve got an unbeatable offer for you*.

And if you’re not yet eligible for free travel, we have secured a significantly discounted rate for the same live and digital experience – just £50/year, instead of £250.

*One free Tortoise membership is available per Circle Sq. membership.

About Tortoise


Tortoise was created by James Harding, former Head of BBC News and Editor of The Times, Katie Vanneck-Smith, who was most recently President of Wall Street Journal / Dow Jones and Matthew Barzun, previously US Ambassador to the UK for President Obama.

Tortoise became the biggest journalism project on Kickstarter in the UK within four hours of going live and the biggest globally within 48 hours. The campaign closed with over half a million pounds and almost 3,000 founding members.

They’ve spent the last few months developing a completely new approach to journalism. It’s an antidote to information overload – what Tortoise call, ‘the daily noise’. Tortoise don’t do breaking news, but what’s driving it. They don’t cover every story but take time to reveal a few. And through an innovative system of organised listening, built around live events with their members, Tortoise is opening up journalism.

It’s not owned by a proprietor with an axe to grind. It’s independent of political party or commercial agenda. Oh, and there are no ads. Tortoise is blissfully pop-up free. Here’s a bit more on why Tortoise matters from co-founder, James Harding: What we’re for


Please email us at if you would like to become a member of Tortoise or find out more.