FiveThirtyEight is approaching one year of publication since we relaunched the site. We’ve learned a great deal, including that it’s usually best to let the quality of our work speak for itself. But we have some exciting news to share.
David Firestone, a 21-year veteran of The New York Times, will be joining us later this month as FiveThirtyEight’s managing editor. David has been a reporter and editor, covering the American South, Congress, the disputed election of 2000, New York City Hall and numerous political campaigns. As deputy editor on the national and metro desks at the Times, he oversaw investigations into Medicaid fraud and the Big Branch mine disaster. He led the national desk’s coverage of the Great Recession, Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding of New Orleans. Most recently, he was a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, and served as the board’s projects editor.
David received glowing testimonials from his former colleagues at the Times. In some cases, his skills complement our mission — David has been instrumental in making the Times’ newsroom more data-driven, for instance. In others, his experience will help in areas where we’re trying to improve: marshaling resources for high-impact projects, combining statistical analysis with other types of reporting, and creating a sense of mission around the news each day.
He joins us at a key moment in FiveThirtyEight’s life cycle. There were many times during the first year when our execution didn’t match the ambitions we had for FiveThirtyEight. But we’ve started to close that gap. We’re launching longform interactives like this one, releasing documentary films like this one, combining number-crunching with on-the-ground reporting in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and having a lot more fun. Traffic is up: Unique monthly visitors have roughly doubled from 2.8 million in our first two full months of publication (April and May 2014) to 5.1 million in the two most recent ones.1
We’re growing our team and will have some additional hires to announce soon. We’ll also be rolling out a series of partnerships and special projects as we get ready for 2016. We have a lot of work ahead of us. David’s the right person to lead us forward and we’re thrilled to have him on board.