in Digital Media

Think Tank Disruption and Affirmative Action

Finally stepped out of the ghostwriting/copywriting shadows this week for a couple of new bylined pieces.

First up, for Blog of the Century, a new piece looking at “The Limits of Merit.” The upshot:

One problem with moving from the status quo to a pure merit system is that it would level a giant blow to diversity. But, while the status quo produces more diversity than does a system of pure merit, it turns out not to be much better.

What could actually increase racial diversity at America’s top universities, relative to the current status quo, is shifting to a class-based affirmative action model.

On the navel-gazing side, I argue that explainer journalism might be just as disruptive to think tanks as it looks to be for traditional media. Explainer sites like Vox aren’t good enough to replace a think tank report yet. But no one really thinks that a PDF report is the Platonic form of good wonkery, either. The problem:

Vox is pushing iterations to its site on a near-daily basis. My team at The Century Foundation does well to persuade one fellow per month to release something that’s not a lengthy PDF, an 800-word op-ed, or a long journal article.

Read “Disrupting Wonkcomms” over at the WonkComms blog. Check out “The Limits of Merit” at TCF’s Blog of the Century.

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