The Verge recently raised eyebrows for its practice of not giving its reporters access to their own traffic data — a rarity among publishers in a metrics-crazy time.

For most digital-savvy publishers, metrics are now critical tools not just in evaluating staff but in planning future stories. They’re even going so far as to build out proprietary dashboards that point writers in the right direction of what might pop. The idea is to not just find the latest viral video but to help reporters learn quickly what’s working and what’s not. After all, just about any business you can imagine is using data as a guide. Should journalism be any different?

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