Alfred Friendly Fellow falls in love with Excel during IRE training

By Mugambi Mutegi Editor’s note: in July, IRE hosted the 2013 class of Alfred Friendly Fellows for training in training in computer-assisted and investigative reporting, covering Excel spreadsheets and more. One of the fellows, Mugambi Mutegi, wrote about his experience using Excel for the Alfred Friendly Press Partners, republished below. In the short time I have been alive,…

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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.…

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Introducing ninth beat book: Investigating Religion

IRE is proud to offer the ninth title in the beat book series, Investigating Religion: An Investigative Reporter’s Guide by Debra L. Mason and Amy B. White. Investigating Religion includes chapters on what public records you can request, finding sources and knowing which are credible and best practices on the religion beat. To order a copy, click here.…

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PANDA: Make the robots work for you

As expected, there was no shortage of swag at “Make the robots work for you,” a panel on implementing PANDA, data store of the gods, brought down the mountain to a newsroom near you. (In the interest of full disclosure, the integrity of your reviewer was compromised by a free T-shirt.) For those of you…

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FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2010 now available in NICAR Data Library

The NICAR Database Library has updated the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, one of the best resources for national crime statistics. WHAT’S IN IT?Law enforcement agencies around the country are required to 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…

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Vote now for the NICAR 2013 T-shirt

Voting is now open in the NICAR 2013 T-shirt contest. We received more than 50 proposals for this year’s T-shirt, so voting will happen in two rounds: An initial round with all the proposals, and a second round of five finalists to choose the T-shirt design for the 2013 conference. Click here to see the proposals again. Look…

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Behind the Story: The big business of ‘green’ buildings and LEED certification

Can a 50-story Las Vegas hotel be environmentally-friendly?  This is the question USA Today reporter Tom Frank sought to answer when he began reporting on the increase in construction of so-called environmentally friendly buildings.  Through his investigation, Frank found that green commercial construction has increased.  Non-profits are behind the movement, but few have assessed the…

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Behind The Story: Comparing databases on bullying

Students head to lunch at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Council Bluffs. The school district reported 58 alleged incidents to the state in five years, arguably a low rate for an urban district of 9,000 students. David Purdy/The Register In reporting, timing is everything.  For Des Moines Register reporter Kyle Munson, the topic of bullying in…

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Cool tools to cover the election

By Doug HaddixKiplinger Program directorKiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, Ohio State University A new mobile app called Ad Hawk created a buzz this weekend during an IRE Election Watchdog Workshop at The Ohio State University. It’s an amazing new public service offered by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C. Here’s how it works:…

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“CAR Day” has something for everyone

We’ve received lots of questions about whether the optional Computer-Assisted Reporting day at the Baltimore conference June 11-14 is suitable for people new to CAR. The answer is “Yes.” The day will serve as a good introduction to the tools and tricks of analyzing electronic information. In addition, hands-on classes Friday through Saturday will give…

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