Small, midsize newsrooms can apply for free data training

Applications are now open for small and midsize newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada to receive free data training from IRE in partnership with the Google News Initiative. Newsrooms selected to participate in the Data in Local Newsrooms Training Program will receive two days of in-house IRE data training, plus follow-up data consultation and services…

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IRE boot camps going on the road, scholarships available

IRE is bringing its acclaimed data and coding boot camps to three cities this fall and offering scholarships to each camp. These boot camps are sponsored in part by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. The camps will include instruction in data analysis and cleaning using Excel, SQL, Python and — for the first time —…

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IRE Radio Podcast | The Adjustment Factor

On this week’s episode, former Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Grotto explains why investigating municipal finance isn’t as dry and daunting as you might think. What started with a dig through county property taxes ended with a three-part series delving into how and why Chicago’s broken property tax system benefited the wealthy and burdened the poor.…

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Open data benefits many, but cost breakdown unclear

Editor’s Note: This article first ran on July 20, 2017 on the Investigative Reporting Workshop’s website. By Clairissa Baker and Yang Sun, Investigative Reporting Workshop A new citywide data policy in Washington, D.C., shows there is no simple way for cities to clearly budget open data initiatives.  Meanwhile, as the city works this summer to…

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IRE Radio Podcast | One Killer Algorithm

Thomas Hargrove spent decades reporting for the Scripps Howard News Service — until he was abruptly laid off in 2015. Then things got interesting: Court battles, destroyed records, and an algorithm that just might be able to spot serial killers. You can find the podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Have a story…

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Using data to investigate the planet

By Haotian Mai A panel of environmental reporters gathered at the 2017 CAR Conference to discuss stories based on public and private data sources. Dinah Pulver of the Dayton Beach News-Journal helps build and maintain the paper’s database of shark bites. In addition to their own database, Pulver also finds water.usgs.gov useful for a variety sources of…

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Securing data, sources and yourself

By Uliana Pavlova We live in the age of cybersecurity, when it is more important than ever to protect our information and sources digitally. Olivia Martin from the Freedom of the Press Foundation and Mike Tigas of ProPublica offered useful tips and tools on digital security for journalists at the CAR Conference. Why does security…

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Data on the radio: How to turn numbers into characters in your story

By Anadil Iftekhar Data is boring. Numbers are confusing. Limit them, hide them, focus more on people. Haven’t you been hearing this a lot lately?  “We are here to say you shouldn’t do that,” said Will Craft. Craft and his colleague, Madeleine Baran, work at American Public Media. In a 2017 CAR Conference panel, they…

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Playing money ball: how to investigate sports institutions

By Daniel Levitt Sports data often gets overlooked as a source of investigative stories. But Steve Doig of Arizona State University and Paula Lavigne of ESPN showed journalists that we can – and should – hold sports organizations accountable. Both Doig and Lavigne entered the sports journalism world from other beats. Doig covered science, education…

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How journalists can distill wide, complicated data

By Dariya Tsyrenzhapova How do journalists make sense out of the abundance of data out there? Are medians and averages actually accurate representations of reality? What are the best ways to improve your storytelling with numbers? Larry Fenn, a data journalist with the Associated Press, Paul Overberg with the Wall Street Journal and Holly Hacker…

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