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Statistician Nate Silver’s ESPN Site Kicks Off Amid Blog Frenzy (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger who jumped to ESPN last year, introduced his revamped FiveThirtyEight.com website Monday as more traditional media companies seek investments in online journalism. Poynter / MediaWire In an article welcoming readers, editor-in-chief Silver says the fact that he called the 2012 presidential election “was and remains a tremendously overrated accomplishment.” It only stood out “in comparison to others in the mainstream media,” Silver writes. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The new site already features a number of articles and visualizations on topics ranging from the Crimean independence vote to the efficacy of toilet seat covers to Silver’s highly anticipated March Madness predictions. FiveThirtyEight will also produce podcasts and documentaries. GigaOM Silver said that he doesn’t want his site to replace or supersede traditional journalism, but to fill what he sees as a “need in the marketplace” for rigorous data-oriented journalism. The site’s logo, a stylized fox head, comes from what Silver says is an ancient Greek aphorism about how the hedgehog knows one large thing, while the fox “knows many small things.” Capital New York Remnants of Silver’s time as a data wonk at the Times remain. The site includes an archive of many, but not all, of the FiveThirtyEight articles published when it was a Times brand, dating back to 2009. Several are even bylined by the current head of the Times‘ impending data venture The Upshot: David Leonhardt. Times graphics editor Kevin Quealy also makes appearances in the archives, as well as Thomas Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland who contributed to the site when it was part of the Times, and Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University. FishbowlDC FiveThirtyEight is back, baby. And for all of you in D.C. journo-land, this likely means you will have no jobs. The overwhelming and undeniable power of Nate Silver‘s math will render your quaint approaches to “newsgathering” as irrelevant as they are devoid of insight. Sorry.