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Nikki UsherToday, we have seen the proliferation of new news ventures thanks to some fortuitous changes in the funding environment, such as venture capitalists, tech philanthropists, and big companies willing to take a chance on actual content produced by journalists as opposed to funding platforms or aggregators. And they all have mission statements speaking to what is missing from news and how they plan to fix it. From The Upshot to Vox to PandoDaily to FiveThirtyEight and beyond (just look for “about” pages for videos and letters to readers), we are experiencing manifesto overload.

Still, what all these statements of principles say are important, underscoring a perceived lack of quality longform journalism, data journalism, or in the case of PandoDaily, useful quick hits. The implication is that traditional journalism simply doesn’t offer readers this kind of news in the existing environment—that it’s not doing enough to give us what we need to know, and these sites are going to offer an alternative way to give us the public information that is the perceived obligation of journalism.

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