If misery and politics make strange bedfellows, their Election 2016 love child in the Fourth Estate is a nascent project called Electionland. As Politico reports, major media outlets are abandoning the time-honored practice of scooping each other in order to combine reporting forces in the name of making sure Election Day is as clean as possible. "It’s an entire national newsroom, essentially only looking at problems facing people who vote," says a senior reporting fellow at ProPublica, the nonprofit which gave birth to Electionland earlier this year and was quickly joined by the likes of the New York Times, USA Today, and Google News Lab, as well as scores of more regional media outlets like the Arizona Republic, Miami Herald, and the Virginian-Pilot.
Notable among those who declined to partner up: CNN and the Associated Press. Yet it's what Quartz calls "an unprecedented gathering of journalists," and includes newsrooms set up at City University of New York and at 13 journalism schools. On Tuesday, Electionland will watch social media, Google search trends, and data from the Election Protection project, as well as receive reports from reporters on the ground. "This is a really interesting experiment," says a politics editor at USA Today. "I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work. I don’t think any of us do. It seems like the right thing to do." Adds Snopes' managing editor: "It's going to be a sh-- show."