First, and most important, we’re looking for freelance features and articles that involve original research, analysis, or reporting — specifically those that involve statistical analysis, data mining, programming, data visualization, or other data-journalism methods. FiveThirtyEight is not the right outlet for “smart takes,” opinion pieces, or long-form essays that don’t involve some data component. We would potentially have interest in features that involve shoe-leather reporting (i.e., interviewing, first-person observation) if they are numerate as well as literate, and help our readers put data and statistics into context.
Is it the Nate Silver effect? Where do you get these new breed of journalists? Are there enough of them? Can you train writers to be data miners? Or is it the other way around? Will you find statisticians, data mining specialists and make them write?
Nice to see that articles will be written using (at least) some data. The “smart takes”, “opinion pieces” can be layers or in a parallel universe. How will they meet the challenge of identifying stories from mining the data and surfacing them?