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Quick-hit CAR success

Little more than a week after enduring days of spreadsheet and database training, recent graduates of IRE’s Boot Camp in Minneapolis have produced quick-hit stories with their new computer-assisted reporting skills.

  • An analysis by Jason Hoppin of The Pioneer Press found new voter registrations in Minnesota have pushed that state’s registrations to an all-time high. “Half of the new registrations come from three counties that voted heavily for John Kerry in 2004, potentially giving Democratic hopeful Barack Obama a boost in a critical battleground state as the 2008 presidential election enters the homestretch.”
  • New building permits are easier to get in Duluth, Minn., but revenue for such permits has decreased since the city made changes in February. Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News Tribune used CAR to enhance this daily story.
  • Gregg Hennigan of The Gazette, (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), analyzed data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help get a handle on how much money — more than $349 million — is going into Iowa’s disaster recovery. That sum is only a portion of what’s being spent in the state, Hennigan reports, and “23 of the 30 most expensive projects approved so far are in Cedar Rapids.”
  • Just days out of Boot Camp the attendees used data to punch up their everyday reporting. All three are excellent examples of how CAR can be used for daily and quick-hit stories. The 5-day boot camp was sponsored by the University of Minnesota and The Pioneer Press.

— Jaimi Dowdell, IRE Training Director

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