Creative Commons image by Flickr user NS Newsflash

Measuring the Impact of the News

on Friday, Apr. 5th

As news organizations shift away from traditional narrative techniques to data-driven efforts of reporting, the old ways of measuring success aren’t cutting it anymore. It is not enough to talk about circulation, or in the case of news apps page views and hits, anymore.

Brian Abelson, a 2013 OpenNews Fellow at the New York Times, dives into the issue of metrics for news apps in this blog post.

Over the past couple of years, journalists, editors, and news room developers have begun to openly criticize the poverty of traditional metrics like page views and average time spent on page. Most of their frustration lies in the inability of these metrics to capture deeper ideas like attitudinal, behavioral, or legislative change – in a word: impact. But while automated metrics may never fully capture these important considerations, they could help us get at some idea of overall reader engagement with a news application.

It strikes me that the idea of measuring “impact” might be more valuable than measuring reach (page views) in more industries than just the news business.


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