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…

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Reporting on school crime with databases

In this free-read article from Uplink, Gavin Off of the Tulsa World shows how he used local school crime report data to uncover a rise in incidents at local elementary schools. The article provides useful tips for journalists who’d like to cover school crime in their own areas.

It’s back: FAA enforcement actions

After several years of negotiations, the NICAR Database Library has updated its copy of the FAA Enforcement Information System. This useful database documents cases where airlines, airports and pilots are accused of breaking FAA Regulations — examples include drug-test failures and alcohol abuse on the job. Only two months into 2009, there have already been…

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Mapping, interactively

As IRE has grown and evolved, so have the services offered to our members. Just a few years ago, one of the most common requests of our Database Library was a conversion of electronic information from tape to disc. Nowadays, Database Library staffers are working with open-source database technology, Web scraping and dynamic mapping. Recently …

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Housing up-data-ed

NICAR’s copy of the Housing Mortgage Disclosure Act dataset for 2007 has been updated. This dataset, maintained by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, provides information about property loans in the United States, including, for each loan application: the race, ethnicity and gender of the applicant how much money was requested in the loan the…

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IRE assists in tracking Clinton, McCain donors

A great deal of the news coverage surrounding this week’s Democratic National Convention touched on whether the party could recover from a close primary election between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Articles focused on the desire from the Obama campaign to reach out to Clinton supporters, and whether a rift remained in the party.…

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Covering the bridge collapse, one year later, with NICAR data

By Julie Karceski NICAR Data Analyst One year later, and we’re back where we started. The one-year anniversary of the Minnesota bridge collapse, Aug. 1, sparked a flurry of articles — more than 100 in the anniversary week — reflecting on the event.   Many revealed that bridges in certain states are in worse condition now…

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Data for summer stories

U.S. roads and waterways get more dangerous over the summer months as vacationers hit the highway or fire up their boat motors. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), fatal vehicle accident rates typically inch up during the summer months and then decline during the fall. It’s much the…

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The dam data

With the sad news about flooding in the Midwestern United States this week, the Database Library received more than a few requests for the National Inventory of Dams. Not only does this dataset list the name and location of all federally-inspected dams in the United States, it has information useful for journalists, including when, exactly…

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