Everything You Need to Know About MSN’s #SmartList

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Microsoft News is powered by more than 1,000 partners, and we post 3,000 pieces of content each day. Sure, that’s impressive, but unless you have a LOT of free time on your hands, you can’t see everything we publish.

That’s where the #SmartList comes in.

Each weekday, Microsoft News editors pore over the site and pick the best content that you need to see, the five things that help you be a little smarter.

The #SmartList is usually posted in the late afternoon Eastern time, just as you’re wrapping up your day. We try to give you a mix of news, plus some entertainment, some sports, and maybe something to make you laugh or cry (or both).

As an example, here’s the #SmartList from Thursday, Aug. 22:

The #SmartList: Republican reactions to Manafort, Cohen cases and more must-reads.




The editors here at Microsoft News aren’t complaining, mind you, but this is one of those days where it’s tough to pick just five pieces of content for you, our loyal readers.

But this is the #SmartList, and that’s what we do. (Sometimes we cheat and give you six, like today.)

Paul Ryan; (C) Getty Images






1) Senior Republicans hesitate to criticize Trump after Manafort and Cohen verdicts (The Guardian):

Republican elected officials reacted cautiously to the news of the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases, The Guardian reports.

© Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America/Getty Images






2) DNC calls FBI after detecting attempt to hack its voter database (CNN):

Uh oh, here we go again? The Democratic National Committee alerted the FBI after detecting what it thinks was a sophisticated attempt to hack into its voter database. CNN explains it all.

Mario Tama/Getty Images






3) Hawaii braces for Hurricane Lane (FOX News):

State officials in Hawaii say they won’t have enough shelter space to meet the “estimated demands” as the Category 4 hurricane barrels toward the islands.

Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation via AP, File








4) Attorney challenges whether suspect in Mollie Tibbetts case is in US illegally (AP)

The attorney for the Mexican man accused of killing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts said the suspect has legal permission to be in the United States. The Associated Press has the latest on the case.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images







5) Venus Williams’ phone will be examined in fatal crash (Sun Sentinel):

Attorneys for the state of Jerome Barson, who died in a car crash that involved tennis star Venus Williams, are trying to determine whether Williams was using the device at the time of the crash.

Getty Images









BONUS) Jen Garner is ‘not surprised’ Ben Affleck is dating ‘Playboy’ model (US Weekly):

The news of actor/director Ben Affleck’s recent date with 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton didn’t surprise ex-wife Jennifer Garner, but she’s “not pleased.” US Weekly has all the details.

Whew, all that, and it’s only Wednesday! We hope you’re feeling a little #smarter. Be sure to come back Thursday for more #SmartList goodness.







Microsoft News editors have been publishing the #SmartList since March 1, and we’re still refining how it works and trying new things. From time to time, we’ll roll out a special edition, devoted to one topic such as the Royal Wedding, Oscars or immigration.

Originally designed for social platforms, the #SmartList has expanded to appear on all of MSN.com’s canvasses, and we’re hoping to expand it internationally and make it a franchise for the site.

We’d love feedback from you on how we’re doing, and what else you’d like to see. Check us out weekdays!