There sure is a lot going on in the world of new journalism ventures lately! Over the weekend, former Washington Poster Ezra Klein’s new Vox Media effort — known until recently as “Project X” — was re-introduced to the internet as Vox.com, a place where people will learn to love the news’s “vegetables.” Meanwhile, Nate Silver, formerly of the New York Times, announced that his data-driven website, FiveThirtyEight, will go live next week. And today, ESPN, which owns FiveThirtyEight, told Capital New York that it will “combine resources” from Silver’s operation with those of their sports and entertainment website, Grantland, and ESPN Films to create a new unit: Exit 31, which will in turn launch FiveThirtyEight films, a division that will produce “short-form and long-form films ‘using data analytics as a part of its ethos,’ and a video podcast network from Grantland.”
Not to be outdone, the Times’ David Leonhardt, who has been tasked with filling the paper’s Silver-shaped void with a vertical focused on “opinion polls, economic indicators, politics, policy, education, and sports,” told Quartz that it now has a name (“The Upshot,” because “we are trying to help readers get to the essence of issues and understand them in a contextual and conversational way“), a “dedicated staff of 15,” and an unspecified spring launch date. Of his competition, Leonhardt said:
I have lot of admiration for both Ezra and Nate. There are certain similarities in all of these ventures, but there are also differences. I think the audience for this journalism is large, growing and underserved. I think we are going to see multiple ventures in this area succeed … because they will foster demand for this type of writing.
See? There’s room enough for everyone.