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.

By midnight the big election was over, as was our meta newsroom experiment. The pizza was gone and major networks had called it for Obama. As Lauren Fedor reported, Twittter announced that the president’s own tweet from earlier in the evening was the most re-tweeted in the site’s history. It said simply, “Four more years.”

You cannot argue that mastering these wonderful digital tools is in any way easy. Yet elections, in a way— with their readymade data, strict timeline, and familiar maps—are easy targets for them.

The president—and the country—face daunting challenges, and deadlines are approaching. It would be great to see more of the best of these digital journalistic tools, combined with rigorous reporting and clear analysis, brought to bear on the messy and complex issues that lie ahead.

Earlier versions of this story included a couple of misspellings: It is Henry Gass (not Glass) and Luke Hammill (not Hamill). CJR regrets the errors.

 

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Mike Hoyt was CJR's executive editor from 2001 to 2013, teaches at Columbia's Journalism School and is the editor of The Big Roundtable, a startup that is a home for narrative writing.