Post-CAR Conference sale in NICAR data library

Fresh out of CAR 2013 and itching for data to work with? The NICAR database libarary is offering discounts on popular federal databases to help you get started. The data library updates databases on a variety of topics. You can explore our data by searching for a specific database, or looking for data by topic…

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Data journalism around the globe

Need a vacation but can’t imagine the outer darkness that is you without your work? Why not take it with you to exotic northern Europe. In “Data Journalism Around the Globe” panelists trotted out some of the best  data projects coming from our cousins on the continent in the German, Danish and Scandinavian press. Many…

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PANDA: Make the robots work for you

As expected, there was no shortage of swag at “Make the robots work for you,” a panel on implementing PANDA, data store of the gods, brought down the mountain to a newsroom near you. (In the interest of full disclosure, the integrity of your reviewer was compromised by a free T-shirt.) For those of you…

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Investigating income inequality with the Gini coefficient and other data

Paul Overberg, of USA TODAY, points to a graph of the Gini Index, which is a measure of income inequality. The diagonal line is perfect distribution of income and the curved line is a representation of actual distribution income. Overberg is interested in the space between them and what it describes. Photo by Travis Hartman.…

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2012: The Year in CAR

IRE executive director Mark Horvit and training director Megan Luther presented the Year in Car yesterday, highlighting data-driven journalism from across the country in 2012 and what can be learne from them. Here’s their list: California Watch: Broken Shield FINDINGS: Exposed flaws in the way a special state police force handles crimes against the developmentally…

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Investigating the Workforce

Unions and pensions may sound like daunting subjects to cover, but Tom McGinty of The Wall Street Journal and MaryJo Webster of the St. Paul Pioneer Press lay out compelling reasons to get past that impression, and helpful tools to get you there. McGinty (who stresses he is not a labor reporter, but learned a…

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Beyond charts, making interactives fun

Fun does not equal fluff. Spice up data viz and you can “take a wonky topic and personalize it,” said Tasneem Raja of Mother Jones in the “Making interactives fun” session. Also, fun interactives build your credibility for the hard-nosed investigations down the line. When readers see how you deftly handle dog license data they…

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Inside baseball: What data journalism can learn from sports

Photos by Travis Hartman What if you could predict a hospital’s quality of care the same way baseball statisticians can predict a pitcher’s season or a team’s record? The sports world has long been using statistics in creative ways — and Ryan Pitts, Jeremy Bowers and Matt Waite say journalists can and should tap into…

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The one-query story: quick hits for your newsroom

Not all data reporting needs to be a long-term project. Quick-hit queries are helpful for feeding the beast with substance, and they’re a great way for reporters new to computer-assisted reporting get used to the process. The best advice, regardless of beat, is to develop what IRE Training Director Megan Luther calls an “arsenal.” This…

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Data Viz on the fly

John Keefe of WNYC said anticipate question before your audiences asks them. Is a hurricane headed my way? Am I in a flood zone? Preparing for an emergency should happen before the storm sirens start blaring. The same goes for your data visualizations, Keefe said. His newsrooms uses Google Fusion tables, Mapbox and Google Spreadsheets…

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