Melody Kramer

Six steps to create a metrics-driven newsroom

After interviewing dozens of journalists and analysts, we emerged with a lot of inspiration and a blueprint that can be applied to any newsroom. Although each organization’s path to, and use of, its data was unique, we saw the same six steps repeated by small and under-resourced newsrooms to large, multinational newsrooms. If your newsroom […]

Build a positive feedback loop

If a newsroom wants reporters to learn from experimentation, then the end point of every project is feedback and inspiration. “The most important part of being an analyst is to take all this data and say, ‘This is what we value as good,’” said Parse.ly’s Kelsey Arendt. “If you’re only reporting on numbers, you’re purely […]

Unleash curiosity to get journalists working with metrics

In every single case, the journalists and data analysts we consulted said there’s one crucial factor that gets journalists on board with data experiments, and it also happens to be the single most common trait in any newsroom: curiosity. Experiments begin when someone looks at one data point and says “I don’t understand what’s happening […]

Ask the right questions, use the right data

One of the most popular knocks on metrics-oriented newsrooms is best summarized as “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In other words, if the only metric you have is unique visitors, then you might be fooled into thinking that growing the number of unique visitors is the goal. While […]

Make metrics simple — and meaningful

How do newsroom metrics advocates pique their colleagues’ interest in using data? Many of the editors, data analysts and trainers we spoke to start by offering a checklist of simple things, like adding links to related stories, that journalists can add to their workflow. After a week or two, the metrics evangelists check back in […]

Connect metrics to strategy

To see the point of metrics, journalists need to understand what their organizations are doing to survive and thrive. That goes way beyond the high-flying language of a mission statement. “You have a better chance of getting people to use data if they really understand how their work fits into the larger goals,” said Liz […]

How to build a metrics-savvy newsroom

Journalists have a reputation for dismissing data about their stories. But it’s undeserved. After all, the axiom “if it bleeds, it leads” describes a newsroom practice driven by the metrics of newsstand sales and broadcast ratings. Pulitzers and Emmys are qualitative data that indicates a reporter’s work is respected by her peers. Journalists don’t hate […]