Tags : NICAR News

Google Hangout: Philip Meyer Journalism Award winners discuss best practices for data journalism

Join award winning data journalists Jennifer LaFleur, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, David Donald, of the Center for Public Integrity and Tom Hargrove of the Scripps-Howard News Service as they talk about their best practices for great data reporting. They'll also be touching on the stories that won them Philip Meyer Journalism Awards (this year's deadline for the awards is next week). Steve Doig of Arizona State University will be moderating.

Tune in November 11th at 11 am CST. To access this webinar and others that IRE has hosted, go here: http://ire.org/events-and-training/online-tra ...

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Ten irrefutable and nonnegotiable rules of responsible data journalism

Few things in life (and journalism) are literally irrefutable and nonnegotiable. But we think this list comes pretty close. Journalists who use data come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide spectrum of resources, skills, and time to do the work. Regardless of these differences, we’ve put together some simple rules that apply to a year-long project or a two-day turnaround, to a recent boot camp graduate or a veteran SQL hound, to a spreadsheet or a relational database.

  1. Remember to refer to data as plural, unless you find it annoying (and I do).

  2. Always save a ...

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Deadline extended for NICAR T-shirt contest submissions

The deadline for submissions to this year's NICAR T-shirt contest has been extended from Oct. 18 to Oct. 23. Remember to please send official entries to shirts@ire.org. Only submissions sent to that email will be entered in the contest. 

Designs will be posted online as they are received. Voting will open shortly after we’ve received all entries. 

The creator of the winning T-shirt also gets a free shirt and $50 in the IRE Store.

Have just the germ of an idea? Send in the text to us. Have a full-fledged graphical display to share? We ...

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Tracking what data are available and where during the government shutdown

We reported yesterday that many government agencies had shut off access to their online data services, and that the NICAR database library was a good source for finding government data during the shutdown.

Poynter today has an interesting post on the challenges the shutdown has caused for data journalists. If you want more background, the Sunlight Foundation explained what happens to a .gov site during a shutdown. The Donald W. Reynolds Business Journalism center has a list of some sources that are available, including linkbacks to NICAR data.

But some agencies have closed and others haven't. What's available ...

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Updated FDA Medical Device Reports (MAUDE) available in the data library

The NICAR Database Library has just updated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database(MAUDE).

WHAT’S IN IT?
Current with reports received by the FDA through June 28, 2013, the data include nearly 3 million records of problems involving medical devices. These problems include injuries, deaths and product malfunctions. 

The dataset has a unique MDR report number for each incident and contact detail for the manufacturers and distributors. The age and expiration date for devices are also available in some instances. A memo field includes narratives that describe how problems occurred ...

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Updated FBI Uniform Crime Reports available in data library

The NICAR Database Library has updated the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, one of the best resources for national crime statistics. The most current reports are for 2011.

WHAT’S IN IT?
Many law enforcement agencies around the country submit reports to the FBI on what are known as "index" crimes: murder,nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor-vehicle theft and arson. These crimes are meant to serve as an index for gauging fluctuations in both the overall volume and rate of crime. The data include the number of crimes by agency and by month. Geographic information ...

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Boating accident data for 2012 now available

Labor Day is just around the corner, and we all know that boating enthusiasts (and wannabes) are getting as much boating in as possible before it gets too cold. Hence, the NICAR database library is releasing the latest year (2012) of the Coast Guard's U.S. Recreational Boat Accident Database.

WHAT'S IN IT?
This database includes accident reports from 1969 through 2012. Accidents involving death, serious injury, the disappearance of a person under circumstances that indicate death or injury, total vessel loss or vessel damage of more than $2,000 are reported. The data include information on the ...

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How this year's CAR Conference turned Australian journalist Edmund Tadros on to programming

Edmund Tadros, a journalist at The Australian Financial Review, said he used to dismiss the idea that journalists needed to know how to program. He considered it a waste of time. Even after he took some basic courses in web programming, and learned how to create interactive tables for his news organization's site, he remained unconvinced.

Then, as he wrote for Australia's The Walkley Magazine, he attended the 2013 CAR Conference in Louisville, Ky., where the confluence of journalists, programmers and bourbon was potent enough to push him toward data.

"The conference was host to the full spectrum ...

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NICAR bridge data helps The Seattle Times do analysis on deadline after bridge collapse

Thursday night around 8 p.m., a bridge collapsed over the Skagit River on Interstate 5 in Washington state.

The Seattle Times’ Cheryl Phillips headed into work. On her way, she phoned IRE and double-checked. Yes, the database of bridge inspections was available for download. Within 30 minutes, the database was in the house and The Seattle Times was using details from it in its breaking news report as well as working on a map feature of bridges statewide.

Being able to essentially get the most up-to-date data on demand through NICAR was invaluable in The Times' understanding of the ...

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Boating accident data updated in NICAR database library

Now that it's just warm enough to get in a boat, the NICAR database library has updated the Coast Guard's U.S. Recreational Boat Accident Database.

WHAT'S IN IT?
The updated data has accident reports from 1995 through 2011. Accidents involving vessel damage of more than $2,000 or disappearance of a person under circumstances that indicate death or injury are reported. The data include information on the nature of the accident, the vessels involved, plus any injuries and/or deaths. See the record layouts on each of the four tables for more detailed information.

The data ...

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