Building a data library in your newsroom

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Acton Gorton of Chicago Tribune; Brant Houston of University of Illinois; Meghan Hoyer of The Associated Press
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 7 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Cardiff
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Stockpiling data helps your newsroom be ready for breaking news, mine data for tips, provides context for multiple stories, offers content for visualizations, and build data literacy among reporters, editors and producers. But there are crucial questions to ask before you build your data arsenal: What databases does your newsroom need? What databases will be used for more than one story, serve as a reference library and improve with annual updates? What technology should you use to house data and what tools would make it accessible across the newsroom? What metadata and documentation should be attached? 

Speaker Bios

  • Acton is a newsroom product engineer for Tribune Publishing, positioned within the Chicago Tribune newsroom. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign studying in the field of Informatics, specializing in data analytics and information visualization. His research focuses on the use of augmented reality as a medium for data-driven news and as a tool for assisting journalists in their work. Gorton's work has appeared with the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Morning Call, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and CU-CitizenAccess.org.

  • Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. Before Illinois he was executive director of IRE for more than a decade after 17 years as an award-winning investigative reporter in U.S. newsrooms. He is author of  "Data for Journalists: A Practical Guide to Computer-Assisted Reporting" and co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook." He works with nonprofit newsrooms and co-founded INN and GIJN. 

  • Meghan Hoyer is data editor at The Associated Press, where she analyzes data and helps disseminate national data sets to reporters across the country, guiding them to find local stories in the numbers. She previously worked at USA TODAY and The Virginian-Pilot. @meghanhoyer

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