Roger Pielke Jr.
Roger Pielke Jr. (University of Colorado)

University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr. has been hired as a contributing writer to FiveThirtyEight, the new data journalism website that launched this week.

The site is owned by ESPN and is the brainchild of statistician Nate Silver, who gained national attention with his predictions ahead of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

FiveThirtyEight will feature content about politics, economics, science, life and sports, Silver has said.

Pielke, who's a professor of environmental studies and also directs CU's Center for Science, Technology, Policy and Research, said he will only write occasionally about climate, which is his academic specialty.

"I have been writing on my own blog about sports and politics and economics and science, so I think I'll continue doing that," he said.

Pielke said he's known Silver for several years, and that at some point "it made sense" for Pielke to become a regular contributor to the site.

He said he will write a feature every other week.

Silver's site is part of a growing number of new media websites that have been forming within the last year.

Former Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein has co-founded Vox, which describes itself as a "general news site for the 21st century." Former New York Times opinion columnist and executive editor Bill Keller recently became editor-in-chief of the Marshall Project, a new nonprofit news site that will cover the criminal justice system

Pielke said it's exciting to be writing for a brand new site during a time when journalism is in flux.

"I've been blogging for 10 years, and when blogging first started, it was kind of exciting and new and different," Pielke said. "This kind of feels like that did.

"You're not sure what it's going to become or what it is, but for me, I'm really excited to have a front-row seat as an observer and a participant."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or kutas@dailycamera.com