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Times reporter Alexi Mostrous and Huffpost UK news editor Basia Cummings join Tortoise

Tortoise

Slow news start-up Tortoise has poached Times reporter Alexi Mostrous and Huffpost UK news editor Basia Cumming in its latest hiring spree.

Both are set to join the subscription-funded outlet, set up by former Times editor and BBC News director James Harding, in September.

Mostrous has spent more than a decade at the Times, including as head of investigations. He jointly won Investigation of the Year at the 2012 British Journalism Awards for his work exposing tax avoidance schemes used by the rich and famous.

Cummings, a former Guardian commissioning editor, has spent a  year-and-a-half on the newsdesk at Huffpost UK. The title’s executive editor, Jess Brammar, tweeted: “This is exciting news for Tortoise and for Basia, who is great and will do great things there.”

Tortoise launched in April, promising to “cut through the daily noise” and offer “slow” journalism to its readers after raising more than £539,000 from a crowdfunding campaign.

The outlet has some 8,000 paying members and 50 staff, with three-quarters of those working in editorial.

Tortoise has previously hired Newsnight policy editor Chris Cook, Guardian assistant editor Merope Mills, ex-BBC Panorama and Today show editor Ceri Thomas and ex-Huffpost UK editor-in-chief Polly Curtis.

Tortoise revealed a new membership model last week that will see businesses fund Tortoise subscriptions that will be distributed by charities to people outside of London, the working class, teenagers and the elderly.

Picture: Tortoise

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