I am so grateful that I felt compelled to pen this email to the reporters at FiveThirtyEight.com, praising them for their work on the Live Blog that has been my mainstay these past few days. I thought they deserved public recognition (such as it is on this badly-neglected site), so I’m reprinting it here.
Subject: Thank you
Hello, folks of FiveThirtyEight:
I’m a trained journalist and previously worked at Federated Media, where I coordinated a bit with Nate back when we sold ads for BaseballProspectus.
Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for all your coverage during this election madness. The hype, partisanship, opinion slinging (based on zero facts) and just general ill will that’s arisen in our society and media today make what you’re doing incredibly important. The fact-based reporting, the clearly difficult work you do of pulling together data (on uncounted votes, for example) — I know I’m not the only one who appreciates it immensely.
I was arguing with a friend recently over “fake news” and the role of the media and I realized that she had very little sense of what journalism actually can be, because of how things have deteriorated. She actually looks at what the cable news networks do regularly and thinks it’s what journalism is. Thankfully, it’s not, and your work is a great example of the value journalists can bring to the table.
One final point. I LOVE how you’re taking breaks on the live blog and that you’re saying that you’re taking breaks. Unfortunately, one of the contributors to our current environment is the 24-hour news cycle and the fact that these media outlets must continuously fill the air time even when there’s nothing new to say. Reading on your site that you’ll be back at noon, or whenever, because that’s when you expect something to actually happen — it’s so refreshing.
To close, I’ll say thank you for helping me keep my sanity (such as it is). I’ve nearly quit social media and have only barely poked my head into the typical news outlets, because it’s all so damaging to public discourse in general and my mental health in particular. Keep up the great work and be sure to get some rest! You deserve it.