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  • Published: 5 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9780143777281
  • Imprint: Penguin Life
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $35.00

No Silly Questions

The Daily Aus explains how the world works (and why you should care)


There are no silly questions.

That’s where we want to start this news journey with you. With the very simple fact that any question you have about the news is a good one. A worthy one. And we’re going to try really hard to answer your questions in this book.

The news shouldn’t feel overwhelming – overwhelming either because you’re struggling to understand some of the key ideas that lie behind a recent development (‘Why would I care about interest rates going up when I don’t know why interest rates matter?’) or because you’re reading so much that it’s all getting on top of you.

The news can, in fact, feel like a space you’re meant to be in – a space where it’s okay for ideas to develop, to be challenged, and where no question is a silly one.

‘Why are two twenty-somethings telling me how to feel about the news?’ we hear you mutter from the other side of this book. A very good question, dear reader.

Well, the answer is that we have been trying, for the past few years, to build a media company that makes everyone feel like news is for them. Even if they’re not ‘news people’.

Building The Daily Aus

In 2017, we started The Daily Aus. The mission back then, and the one that still drives us today, was to create a news service that empowers young people to engage with the world around them. For years, we’d heard things like, ‘Young people are lazy’ and ‘They don’t realise how good they’ve got it.’

Yet, when we were talking to our friends, all in their twenties, the reality was different. Many felt like there was nowhere for them to get information that was clear, concise and in their language. Importantly, they weren’t out buying papers or surfing the web, and there were no news outlets catering to a social-first generation.

And so, The Daily Aus was born. The antidote to the opinion-first,noisy news cycle. A digestible and bite-sized way to consume news, which explained the context behind a story, not just the headline of the day. We weren’t trying to make people change their daily routines or consumption habits. Instead, we wanted to meet young people where they were, and ensure that accurate and factual news was intercepting people mid-doomscroll.

At the beginning, that looked like uploading five news items to Instagram stories every single day, despite both of us working in other jobs. Crucially, the fifth story of every ‘bulletin’ would be a good news story, ensuring the reader ended each interaction with ‘the news’ on a positive note. In those early days, though our audience remained very small, they were phenomenally engaged. This was our training ground – where we learnt what young people need from their news, how they best understand complex ideas, what traditional outlets expect them to know, and how an issue moves from being a story for the diehard current-affairs consumer to a part of everyday conversations we want to take part in.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we knew what to do. We knew we had to bring the same level of clarity to pandemic news as we had to other stories, and that we had to make sense of a seemingly incomprehensible news event for our audience. Rightly or wrongly, the pandemic forced everyone – regardless of their age, socio-economic status, race or religion – to pay attention to the news. Suddenly, news outlets had the answers about where you could go, who you could see and what you could do.

The exponential growth of our audience was a huge responsibility that we didn’t take lightly. We wanted to get it right for them, keep them informed with the facts, but also identify when something was ‘noise’ and not ‘news’. It was about toeing the line between informing and overwhelming, and it relied on us listening and responding to our audience.

Today, that audience has grown considerably, with The Daily Aus reaching over one million young Australians every month. We have a daily podcast, newsletter, TikTok, video channel, website . . . and now, a book.

Our intention for this book is for it to be the world’s best cheat sheet for understanding how the world works. Think of it like a friend in your pocket that you can whip out to explain all the big concepts in life, but in a way that makes sense to you.

One challenge with writing the book is the ever-changing nature of news. We know how fast things move – from changes in governments and regimes around the world to understanding pandemics, science and technology. We’ve tried to include explainers that will stay relevant and to which you can refer when you need to brush up on a topic.

Part of the problem – and therefore part of the reason we wanted to write this book – is that most of us weren’t really taught a lot of this stuff growing up. Unless you took an economics subject at high school or university, it’s not easy to understand superannuation, tax, GST, inflation, GDP, interest rates, tariffs or currencies. That’s not your fault. But it’s a problem that can be fixed by taking time to read explainers on the big questions you might feel silly asking (or don’t even know how to go about asking).

So, we hope you can use this book when you’re reading a news story about climate change, politics, technology, war or money. Keep it handy and come back to a specific chapter when you need to.

For now, make yourself a cup of tea, find yourself a sunny spot, and let’s get to all your questions – even the ones you might think are silly.

No Silly Questions Sam Koslowski, Zara Seidler

Understand the news stories that matter. Be part of the important conversations. And feel confident – whether you’re walking into a date, a work event or a voting booth. From the creators of the phenomenally successful news service The Daily Aus comes your ultimate playbook for how the world works.

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