Metrics for Journalism Discussion at NICAR

The Carebot team just came out of a wonderful discussion with a vibrant group of about 20 people at NICAR exploring metrics for journalism.

David Eads kindly took detailed notes during the session, which you can find in this etherpad. Thanks David!

Matt kicked off the conversation by asking for people’s perspectives on what success in journalism means from the perspective of the end user, the journalist, the news organization and the journalism community at large.

It was interesting to see general agreement about the competing forces associated with effort and metrics that support the running the business behind the journalism, and the effort and metrics that relate to the mission and overall editorial drive for the journalism work.

When we explored the question of what metrics people were interested in —without the contraints of what is technically feasable or even quantifiable— there were lots of interesting perspectives, am a definitive and concrete understanding that pageviews are insufficient, limiting and sadly addictive to many organizations.

While unsurprising, the measures that came up fell into the three categories we explored in the previous post —process, output and implications.

Understanding specific charactersitics of the audience came up as a desirable but poorly supported aspect of understanding what’s happening and whether or not journalism is being effective.

It was great to see how consistent the themes and challenges people put forth are with what we have learned so far over the course of creating Carebot and talking to other journalists.

Also, it is particularly exciting to find how people are experimenting and exploring new ways to measure with their audiences and in the specific circumstances of their newsroom.

That’s it for now. More on our NICAR take-aways next week when we are back!

Livia Labate

Written on March 11, 2016