MEDIA

Nate Silver: Unlike Vox, We Don't Do 'Hot Takes' On Wikipedia Entries

The numbers guru contrasted his site's "quality over quantity" approach with its competitor's.
FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver criticizes Vox.
FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver criticizes Vox.

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver is accusing Vox of participating in “hot take” journalism and basing its articles on Wikipedia entries. He has been an outspoken critic of Vox, having in the past taken the explainer journalism site to task for reposting his site’s charts without attribution and aggregating a New York magazine feature story about Bill Cosby.

In a recent radio interview with Catie Lazarus, who hosts the podcast “Employee of the Month,” Silver described FiveThirtyEight’s approach to journalism as “quite opposite from Vox, where, what I was kind of saying earlier, well, the idea of you read the Wikipedia page and you write, like, a take on it.”

Lazarus asked Silver to elaborate on his characterization.

“Vox publishes a lot of things every day,” Silver said. “You know, we publish five or six articles every day, they publish 40 or 50. I think the best five or ten things they do are terrific, right? They have some great people working for them. I think they also have a lot of less than terrific things.”

Vox Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein responded to the accusation in an email to The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who noted that Vox has published an average of 22 posts per day (including weekends) since April 2014.

“We’re a bit shy of 20 full-time writers on the site, who write about once a day on average. I would love to see us at 40-50 pieces a day -- sadly, we’re not there yet,” Klein told Wemple. “Beyond that, I’m tremendously proud of the incredible work my writers do -- good explanatory journalism is very, very hard, and as such, I think it’s best to let it speak for itself.”

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.