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‘FiveThirtyEight,’ ‘The Upshot’ and Vox Bet Big on Explanatory Journalism



When Nate Silver took his talents to ESPN last July, The New York Times—Silver’s former employer—convened a committee to plot its next move. It concluded the Times shouldn’t replicate Silver’s blog, FiveThirtyEight, but that it needed something in the same ballpark — journalism that examines current events but doesn’t attempt to break news.

The Times tapped David Leonhardt, one of the committee members, to lead a new, explanatory website: The Upshot. The point of it is, well, to get to the point.

“I could give you a list of five things that are strong about the economy right now and five things that are weak. That’s a somewhat useful list,” Leonhardt, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former Times Washington Bureau Chief, said. “More useful is to tell people, okay, which of those matters more. Is the economy getting better or is it getting worse?” Read more…

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