Assessing Impact of Media

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Non-Profit Journalism: Issues Around Impact

ProPublica’s President Richard J. Tofel dissects the state of the debate, and explains how his nonprofit investigative outlet charts impact for each reporting package. “Perhaps the most important lesson is that there is no one reliable measure of journalism’s impact, no single algorithm that can be devised, no magic formula to load into a spreadsheet or deploy in an app,” he writes. “As Ethan Zuckerman points out, there are plenty of ‘simple and bad’ metrics. What is needed is a set of complex and sensitive measures, constantly being adapted to new circumstances.”

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