That’s why we—journalists—need the Nate Silvers of the world. We need Ezra Klein, Jim Tankersley, David Leonhardt and Glenn Greenwald. Regardless of their political views, each is trying to make journalism better. Some, like Klein and Greenwald, are trying to do so in ways that are more radical. They are trying to recreate how we deliver the news. Others, like Tankersley and Leonhardt, are working within legacy institutions, the New York Times and Washington Post respectively, to put star-studded teams together that can produce high-quality pieces fit for both print and the web.
I have faith that many, if not all, of these projects will succeed. I believe the appetite for quality journalism in the online world is much larger than what we see right now. I may be wrong. But we won’t know unless we try. FiveThirtyEight has plenty of problems. It also has a young staff and has been live less than two weeks. It will improve and we will see whether data journalism can cover the news as well as Silver imagines.