At the end of 2019, reflecting on that year’s most popular pieces, I made a vague forward-looking statement that turned out to be a bit of an understatement. «We’re looking forward to working with, informing and supporting you,» I wrote. «We have a hunch 2020 is going to be a big news year.» As it turns out, 2020 was an enormous news year — extraordinarily overwhelming, relentless and historic.
The coronavirus pandemic quickly became and continues to be an international, national, regional, local and hyper-local news story spanning almost every beat. The May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the uprisings that followed dominated international headlines for several weeks. In terms of page views, June 5, 2020, was the biggest day in Journalist’s Resource‘s history, due in large part to our roundup of research on deaths in police custody. And, of course, there were the ongoing stories of the decennial census and the unusual presidential election.
Throughout 2020, JR produced 139 research roundups, articles, explainers, tip sheets, data visualizations, columns and comics. As we prepare for 2021, we’re taking a final look back. This week, we’re sharing our 10 most popular posts of 2020, which supported journalists as they reported some of the decade’s biggest news stories.
This week’s electoral vote count
Looking forward: Congress will meet tomorrow to count, confirm and certify each state’s electoral votes for president — and several Republicans have announced they will vote to reject the certification of votes in so-called «disputed states.» If you’re following or covering this extraordinary story, you’ll want to revisit Clark Merrefield’s Electoral College explainer and Denise-Marie Ordway’s roundup of recent research on presidential transitions.As Ordway notes, «When problems arise during the brief period when one U.S. president hands off executive power to the next, it can have serious consequences for the country, academic studies show.»
And a final reminder: The Shorenstein Center is now accepting applications for the 2021 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, which «honors investigative reporting that best promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics.» The winner receives $25,000, and five finalists receive $10,000 each. There’s no cost to apply. The deadline is Jan. 12.
Happy new year, readers. I have a hunch 2021 is going to be a big news year, too.
Yours in knowledge,
Carmen Nobel, program director of Journalist’s Resource
THE GREATEST HITS
Which of Journalist’s Resource‘s tip sheets, research roundups, data visualizations and other pieces did you click on most often? We spotlight our 10 most popular pieces in 2020, as determined by page views. A big hint: Deaths in police custody, political dog whistling, teacher pay and the Electoral College were topics that drew lots of attention.