IRE Commons - A field guide to attracting and retaining a news nerd (IRE Commons sponsored by Facebook)
A camera pans around the newsroom. (Narrator): This is our world. It's home to a vast variety of journalists. One of the most intriguing species is the modern news nerd. Here we can see a young example, diligently pecking away its keyboard, building a beautiful, interactive home for a story. Ahh yes and here's another one now, toiling away at its database, finding hidden gems in the columns and rows. But how does one attract a news nerd to a newsroom? And once you have one, how do you make sure it doesn't fly away to a different newsroom or leave the world of journalism altogether?
Nerds and non-nerds alike are welcome to this discussion on how to develop, reward and keep journalists with data skills. What are some best practices? What are some pitfalls to avoid? Share your experience and let's create an environment for news nerds to thrive.
Matt Dempsey is the data editor at the Houston Chronicle. He worked on projects involving wildfires, state pensions, and the chemical industry. His passion for public records frequently leads to disclosure of data from all levels of government. His series Chemical Breakdown won the 2016 IRE Innovation award and the National Press Foundation’s “Feddie” award. His work was a key part of the Chronicle’s Pulitzer Prize finalist entry for Breaking News.
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