Data science, meet campaign finance

If you ever get the urge to feel a chill run down your spine, particularly if you’re interested in political journalism, give Sasha Issenberg’s new book The Victory Lab a good, close read. Here’s the headline: When it comes to using data to understand politics, journalists are playing checkers while political consultants are playing chess. Just listen to…

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Behind The Story: Analyzing and mapping salary data for small-town mayors

In August, reporter Kate Martin of the Skagit Valley Herald analyzed salary data for mayors across Washington state and ended up with a story about mayors from small towns in her coverage area — Mount Vernon and Anacortes — who had salaries on par with mayors from cities several times larger. In reporting the story,…

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Spreading computer-assisted reporting techniques in Latin America

By Mc Nelly Torres Víctor Hugo Michel is excited and overwhelmed. He hasn’t stopped thinking about all the stories he will be able to report and write using the data analysis and investigative tools he learned this past weekend at the IberoAmericana University in México City. “I never thought I could organize data, rank it and compare it…

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Behind the Story: The cost of sugar supports

In a recent piece for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Amy Green reports on the cost of sugar supports to American taxpayers.  She is currently working on a book about the Florida Everglades, which will explore political and environmental impacts on the area.When Amy Green, a native Floridian, thinks of the Florida Everglades, she…

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CAR for the whole newsroom

By Sarah Morris @smorris198888 In Integrating CAR: Story Ideas for the Whole Newsroom, Mark Wert of The Cincinnati Enquirer and Jaimi Dowdell of IRE/NICAR gave ideas and tips relating to different beats that would require CAR skills. Some of the tips they shared included: Build your own database. Use two databases to tell a story.…

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IRE welcomes new trainer

Megan Luther joins IRE today as the newest member of our training team. She will work with training director Jaimi Dowdell to run our workshops, in-newsroom training and other initiatives. Megan has worked in radio, TV and most recently, newspapers. Before she joined IRE, Megan was a government reporter for the Argus Leader in South…

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Liberate the data with ScraperWiki at the CAR Conference

Tired of government agencies that care more about protecting their data than the public? Frustrated by official websites that defiantly offer no easy way to download vital data sets? It’s time to fight back. Join IRE and Scraperwiki for a 12-hour data liberation marathon during the 2012 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in St. Louis on Feb.…

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FOI Files: Reaction to ‘fracking’ investigation typifies journalists’ challenges

Journalists and journalism advocates rightly focus a great deal of energy on freedom of information law, defending the rights of the press and public to access governmental information. Attempts to control the press through legal means constitute a daily threat to democracy and must be met with systemic pushback. Not all controls on information flow…

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