Behind the Story: The reality of Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs Program

Last month, the Oklahoma Impact Team for KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City and KOTV News on 6 in Tulsa, Okla., examined the much-touted Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program to see if it works as intended or amounts to a corporate giveaway. They found that three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax rebates have been awarded…

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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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Free tools to tackle almost any task, from data wrangling to photo editing

By Chelsea [email protected] What’s the best thing a reporter can tell their editor about new data tools? They’re F-R-E-E. Anthony DeBarros, senior database editor at USA Today and Matt Stiles of NPR’s news applications team shared their top picks for the latest free tools at IRE 2012’s “Free tools panel.” “Free can be very, very…

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Hack the Census

By Anna [email protected] “Hacking the Census” was a collection of lightning talks on tools, tricks and codes to hack the Census and American Community Survey, ranging from introductory to advanced. Steve Doig, professor at Arizona State University, said the Census has information about people and households, of course, but there’s also info on business, education, foreign trade, and more.…

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Back to school with data and documents

By Kyle DeasGraduate student, University of Missouri It’s that time of year again: the school supply aisles at your local stores are crammed with people; the summer heat is giving its last dying gasps; and education beat reporters across the country are being asked, for the second or fifth or fifteenth time, to write a…

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