Keyword: onlinejournalism. If you’re a news organisation with a website, there can be far better uses of your resources than creating an email newsletter. It creates a constant relationship with your audience, reminds them of your existence, and can even create a feedback loop that leads to better stories and more participation in discussion.
Radio 4’s The Message is one good example of this, with a weekly newsletter and email facility on its site (that’s pretty much it apart from audio of the last broadcast), and the BBC as a whole are very good for email updates – their sport section, for instance, allows you to receive email alerts for your favourite team. The Guardian have a number of email services for specialist areas such as media, football, cricket, travel, education, society and so on, which surely drive a significant amount of traffic to the site. And Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow co-authors their excellent Snowmail service, which adds a personal touch to the medium.
I could go on, but I’d rather wait for others to email me their recommendations…
UPDATE (Mar 7 05):