News in a new way

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.

Their services

Tortoise is a response to two problems.

The daily noise: we are overwhelmed by information. The problem isn’t just fake news or junk news, because there’s a lot that’s good – it’s just that there’s so much of it, and so much of it is the same. In a hurry, partial and confusing. Too many newsrooms chasing the news, but missing the story.

The power gap: the divide between the powerful and the powerless is widening. We feel locked out. Alarmed by the lack of vision, hungry for leadership in business, technology and society. We believe in responsibility; we care about dignity.

Like us, Tortoise Media is a membership business, built for and with their members. And, also like us, being part of it is more important than just paying for it.

  • Their newsroom will be (literally) open to members.
  • They don’t do ads. Tortoise is a blissfully pop-up free experience.
  • They never, ever, sell or share our members’ data.

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.

What our members say

For me, Tortoise Media is one of the greatest benefits of Circle Square membership.
Jonathan Lass

The Circle Square offer

As our trusted media partner, Tortoise offers Circle Square members their expertly curated newsroom services at a significantly reduced rate. Annual subscriptions normally cost £250 but for our members we have secured a discounted rate of just £50 pear year. And For our members over 60, their service is completely FREE!

Please contact Teresa, our membership co-ordinator, at  for more details on how to access Tortoise.

About Tortoise Media

Tortoise Media

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

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