One of the powers of journalism has always been about the change it can bring in society. Highlighting government malpractice, prompting new legislation and starting wider public discussion, and action, about important topics. Such outcomes are what many news organisations see as their mission.
And yet, despite this, the way journalism is traditionally and widely quantified bears no consideration for these aspects. Editors look at dashboards of digital analytics that result in short-term, and often siloed, changes in behaviour and practices within a news organisation.
There is little thought to the wider or long-term impact of stories. And more so, of how to quantify impact in more meaningful, relevant ways that align internal, organisational priorities, together with external, community/ society-focused priorities.
Some of the questions we need to ask to better understand what to measure and how, include: What can for-profit news organisations learn from those that are not-for-profit/ social enterprises/ co-operatives? What can we replicate from industries outside of journalism? What would a news organisation look like (e.g.. its internal culture) that optimised for impact? What opportunities does the rise of user-funded/ community-driven organisations bring?
Organised in association with the European Journalism Centre.