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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How to find and use housing data

By Haotian Mai “It’s a fascinating time to be studying housing,” said Skylar Olsen, a senior economist from Zillow. On Thursday, Olsen sat on a housing data panel with Tim Henderson, a demographics writer and data analyst for Stateline, at the 2017 CAR Conference. For companies like Zillow, housing data fuels their services. For homeowners,…

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How to execute big data stories in small newsrooms

By Huilan Zhan How do you plan, pitch, and execute a data project when you’re the only data reporter in your newsroom? How do you collaborate with other members in your newsroom who may not understand what you do with data? Google Data Journalism Scholar Eva Constantaras, St. Louis Public Radio data visual specialist Brent…

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Investigating hacks and data breaches (plus preventing your own)

By Carlie Procell Julia Angwin of ProPublica and Sri Sridharan of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity spoke about ways to cover data breaches as a journalist, along with ways to protect yourself from the hackers. Ways to protect yourself from hackers It’s difficult to figure out if your personal data has been stolen, and it’s…

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When checking your mailbox isn’t enough: 3 tips for investigating local elections

Image by Justin Grimes. Used under Creative Commons License. In September, New York Times reporter Susanne Craig checked her mailbox. Checking for snail mail wasn’t abnormal for her, but what she found was: a copy of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The document led to a notable scoop for the Times and plenty of lessons for reporters. Craig…

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Report on the student debt crisis with our new simplified database

Student debt is quickly becoming a national crisis. But reporting on student loans and college finances has always been thorny, especially when dealing with complicated bureaucracies and patchwork data. Earlier this year, for the first time ever, the Obama Administration released a comprehensive intersection of student population, college performance and “outcome” data, measuring with precise…

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Broadcast journalists share tips for bringing numbers to life on TV

Investigative broadcast journalists across the country gathered at the 2016 CAR Conference and shared some of their secrets for bringing data to life on TV. 1. Get raw data KXAS-TV producer Eva Parks explained how her team requested complaint and violation records concerning noise at the Dallas Love Field airport. Unfortunately, the city of Dallas…

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10 free tools to help you clean, analyze and visualize data

Freelance journalist Samantha Sunne and Helena Bengtsson, data projects editor for The Guardian, spent an hour at the 2016 CAR Conference going over free, open-source tools that can replace expensive data cleaning, analysis and visualization programs. Here are some of my favorite tools the speakers mentioned: 1. Google Sheets Google Sheets is a widely known…

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Journalists share data projects you can try anywhere

By Jinghong Chen During a session at the 2016 CAR Conference, Kevin Crowe of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Jamie Grey of KOMU-Columbia shared tips and data projects that journalists everywhere can try. 1. Infrastructure Crowe said that people in lots of places, especially aging cities, are worried about potholes, water main breaks and pavement…

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