“The metrics that have been used for this have been astonishingly primitive,” said Marty Kaplan, USC Annenberg Professor and Director of the Norman Lear Center.
According to Kaplan, counting page views is futile “when trying to figure out whether an opinion piece, a documentary film or a television show actually moved anyone.”
“Those measure how many people saw something,” Kaplan said. “That’s not the same as an outcome.”
The purpose of the program is to act as a “clearinghouse for information from researchers,” and to create better ways to “measure what matters.” It will provide the tools non-profit groups need to measure impact as effectively as corporate advertisers.
The program is being financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.