Measuring Journalism: Finding and Using Metrics that Matter

November 10, 2017
Teaching Date
Nov. 10, 2017
Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Downtown Chicago
$65 for professional journalists, $50 for students

With Google Analytics, Chartbeat, and others as options, editors need guidance, strategies and tools for measuring audience and making decisions with that data.

In this one-day workshop, we'll review case studies, best practices, and strategies for metrics programs. Under the guidance of expert faculty and inspired by the experiences of colleagues from newsrooms across the country, you’ll learn how to improve what you measure and creative ways to use what you learn.


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    Joy Mayer

    Audience Engagement Strategist; Adjunct Faculty, The Poynter Institute

  • Profile picture for user Cole Goins

    Cole Goins

    Director of Community Engagement, Reveal - The Center for Investigative Reporting

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    Robyn Tomlin

    Vice President and Managing Editor, Dallas Morning News

We’ll talk about our audience’s trust in us and how we can attach metrics to big-picture, qualitative questions. And we’ll talk about the impact metrics work and goal setting have on our staff and on the bottom line.

Participants will leave with a plan for improving their organizations' measurement and telling a more compelling story to their colleagues about why the numbers matter.

What you’ll learn:

  • Improved understanding of which metrics measure which types of user behavior
  • Ideas for aligning your core goals with metrics
  • Strategies for improving how your organization collects, analyzes, shares and acts upon its metrics data


  • Editors who want to improve their organizations’ approach to using metrics
  • Newsroom leaders who want to use metrics to set strategy and incentivize employee behavior
  • Staff members who want to learn how a better understanding of metrics can make them more valuable to their organization and to the industry

Here is our proposed schedule:

9:00-10:00 a.m. ~ Intros and welcome. As journalists, what are we here to do? What does success look like?

10:00-11:00 a.m. ~ What, why and how we measure at the Dallas Morning News ~ Robyn Tomlin

11:00-11:15 a.m. ~ Quick tip, then break

11:15-12:15 p.m. ~ Telling the story of metrics within your organization: How to help your colleagues care about and act on data ~ Ryan Sholin

12:15-1:15 p.m. ~ Quick tip, then lunch

1:15-2:15 p.m. ~ Using data to build a social strategy ~ Kurt Gessler and Elizabeth Wolfe

2:15-2:30 p.m. ~ Quick tip, then break

2:30-3:30 p.m. ~ Simple ways to make impact tracking a part of your newsroom ~ Cole Goins

3:30-3:45 p.m. ~ Quick tip, then break

3:45-4:45 p.m. ~ Making small and large changes to move your organization forward

4:45-5:00 p.m. ~ Wrapup


Event Details:

Date: Nov. 10, 2017

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: $65 for professional journalists, $50 for students

Scholarships:  Poynter has some travel scholarships available to help defray the cost of the hotel and flight for members of LION, INN and NABJ. If you'd like to apply for one, write a few sentences on the application form. Tell us why this training is applicable to you and how you plan to share what you learn with others at your organization or in your community. The scholarship is worth approximately $700 for both your flight (about $500) and hotel ($200 with tax). Everyone who applies will be notified of their status. Apply by Wednesday, October 4 to be considered.

Event Location: Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Downtown Chicago

(Specific information will be provided at a later time.)

Sponsors: This event is supported by grants from the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Questions? Contact us at


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