As for two recent entries, Fox News Latino and NBCLatino: How do you say “meh” in Spanish? Vargas wrote: “It’s disappointing that these sites didn’t devote more thought and resources to data visualization of the Hispanic vote.”
Yet both Univision and el Nueva Dia got credit for noting a widely overlooked election-night story: Puerto Ricans, in a nonbinding vote, said they preferred US statehood, and by a wide margin.
How did our legacy media do? Slate almost qualifies, and Slate’s Twitter commentary was “its usual blend of news, insight, and humor,” Luke Hammill reported. Lauren Fedor noted that The Washington Post was giving readers an opportunity to create virtual “I Voted” buttons, tailed for each candidate (Obama voters created more, by a landslide). And the Los Angeles Times, Henry Gass reported, had a winning set of maps, attractively designed in the “less is more” mode.
Meanwhile The Wall Street Journal, Luke Hammill reported, was running:
a very respectable live online newscast right now. The show started at 8 p.m., and the Journal got through its first half-hour without any significant hiccups. Anchor Alan Murray, the paper’s managing editor, seemed relatively comfortable, and transitions between correspondents were smooth, save for a few times when Murray was openly asking his producer questions. (OK, so this crew isn’t quite cable-ready yet.)
Elsewhere, mistakes were made, as Hammill reported:
The Daily Intel (New York Magazine’s news blog), Slate, and Ezra Klein were just some who prematurely tweeted that Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren had won a Massachusetts Senate seat.
Apologies were made, but minutes later, the Warren win was confirmed, and all the same offenders re-posted (for real this time) that she had defeated Scott Brown.
Jon Stewart’s Daily Show was quick to poke fun, tweeting: “Unconfirmed: @ScottBrownMA’s truck voted for Elizabeth Warren,” a reference to the widespread response to Scott Brown’s comments about his truck.
Lauren Fedor gave high marks to Quartz, Atlantic Media’s new entry, for sheer simplicity and clean design.
And in the jungle of liveblogs, Max J. Rosenthal wrote that he had crowned a king—from The New Republic:
Election Night is also Liveblog Overload Night, with seemingly every outlet in the country providing minute-by-minute updates even as they pull from the same data sources and Twitter accounts. So while frequent updates and tons of information are valuable, finding a niche in coverage—especially as readers double- and triple-task across platforms—is even more useful.
That’s why I’m calling this race for Nate Cohn. His blog is providing consistent, insightful posts on the minutiae of the election results, focusing on areas that most other outlets are glossing over. It’s a blog for election addicts, but Cohn’s posts complement other media coverage to perfection, providing some calm context to the constant “major” updates and auto-loading maps. There’s no data-viz or interactive innovation here, but it’s a great example of the kind of the coverage than can add substance to a reader’s night rather than just piling on the information.
The New York Times is a close runner-up. Its product is beautiful, with lots of photos and clear graphics. Importantly, most of the posts are coming from reporters and not retweets or wires, meaning the quality stays high. For a lot of people, this will be the undisputed favorite. But it’s also conventional, reading like a mirror of TV coverage or a preview of tomorrow’s paper.
HuffPost, unsurprisingly, is the king of volume, but quality fluctuates wildly. When reporters are filing dispatches and analytical posts, it’s one of the best; when it devolves into long strings of one-sentence AP bulletins, it gets old quickly. It’s a great place if you want to drink from the firehose. The Daily Beast is running a mix of Twitter and short reporter check-ins that feels fun but not really vital. Others, like NPR, TPM and Salon, seem mostly to be going through the latest-news motions.
Some of the most interesting liveblogs came from the most competitive state: Ohio. As Henry Gass wrote:
No less than four liveblogs running tonight, from legacy media like The Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, to foreign news organizations like the New Statesman and younger ones like PolicyMic .
None stand out as an undisputed champion, but to my eye Ohio legacy media are clearly behind younger news organizations in terms of making the blogs digestible and interesting, with multimedia elements and posts infused with personality. In the two-horse race between New Statesman and PolicyMic, I’d have to give the nod to the Brits. Not only is the New Statesman blog more enjoyable, it makes good use of multimedia while also giving you all the important data.