Tipsheets

Browse more 5,000 tipsheets from our national conferences and Watchdog Workshops on how to cover specific beats, conduct a great interview and learn countless tips on where to find the information you need.

Logged-in members can download any tipsheet, for free. Contact the Resource Center 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org for questions.

Search results for "Florida" ...

  • The Data Sets Every Government Reporter Should Have

    This tip sheet tells you how to unearth data and then turn that information into an investigation.

    Tags: government reporting; computer-assisted reporting; data; databases; public records

    By Ana Ceballos, Tina Macias and Mark Horvit

    2019

  • Covering Prisons: Finding Truth in The Most Guarded Institutions in The Justice System

    A tipsheet explaining what records and resources are available for reporters interested in investigating jails and prisons.

    Tags: jail; prison; incarceration; inmates; criminal justice system; legal affairs; crime; government accountability; watchdog reporting

    By Michele Deitch, Keri Blakinger, Ben Conarck and Conrad Wilson

    2019

  • Python 101

    An introduction to the Python programming language. The tipsheet includes instructions for downloading Python and code libraries, as well as recommendations for instructional materials.

    Tags: Python; programming language; introduction to coding; code libraries; data journalism

    By Mindy McAdams

    2019

  • Criminal justice and mental health issues

    There are thousands of jails across the country, and all of them are dealing with a mental health crisis. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates about 2 million mentally ill people are booked into jails every year. Sheriffs from Florida to Oregon will tell you that they've got people locked up for low-level offenses because there's nowhere else to put them. It's straining local budgets and leading to deaths. But how to report on it? Jails are some of the most opaque institutions in the country, and even when sheriffs and superintendents will talk, the story they have to tell is complex and weaves together criminal justice, social services, politics and science. Reporters who have investigated abuses and deaths of the mentally ill in jails discuss in this tipsheet how to report on and explain this complex problem to readers.

    Tags: mental health; criminal justice; prisoner mental health; mentally ill prisoners

    By Meg Kissinger, Jessica Priest and Gary Harki

    2018

  • Torturing Excel into doing statistics

    Want to know a bit more about statistics but aren't sure where to start? This tipsheet is a gentle introduction to stats you might want use in your journalism, working with a tool you already know.

    Tags: Excel; statistics; Excel tools; data

    By Norm Lewis

    2018

  • Intro to R 1

    Give a statistical lift to your reporting with R, the powerful, open-source programming language. This tipsheet covers R basics in a fast-paced tour of Florida data. You will learn how to import, organize and analyze information with R.

    Tags: R; data tools; programming language

    By Ron Campbell

    2018

  • Looking for accountability on the recovery efforts In Puerto Rico

    Almost eight months after Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, the recovery effort is moving slowly and much remains to be investigated. Many cities in Florida and around the country are also dealing with an influx of Puerto Ricans who left and have not returned home. Journalists covering the crisis in Puerto Rico will share investigative strategies and techniques as well as issues they faced while covering the crisis that followed the massive storm including health issues, the disputed death count after the hurricane, scandals with the subcontractors hired to repair the electrical grid, and the government lack of transparency. Panelists will also talk about where to look for data stories and provide journalists the tools they need to investigate after a natural disaster.

    Tags: Puerto Rico; hurricane; recovery efforts; natural disaster; storm damage; health issues; death counts

    By Carla Minet, Frances Robles, Mc Nelly Torres and Luis Trelles

    2018

  • Schools without rules

    Three Orlando Sentinel reporters spent six-months investigating Florida’s scholarship programs, which will send nearly $1 billion to private schools this year. The project meant reviewing thousands of pages of documents and making in-person visits to dozens of private schools. The reporters discovered soon-to-be evicted schools set up in rundown buildings, campuses where teachers lacked college degrees, and a principal under investigation for child molestation who was able to keep taking Florida vouchers by closing one school and then opening another under a new name. This behind-the-story session will go through how reporters handled the school visits (most were unannounced), how they requested and organized data (from enrollment numbers to parent complaints sent to the state) and searched for other needed information. They’ll also cover what worked, and what didn’t, as they tried to stay organized while still doing other stories on their beats.

    Tags: school investigation; scholarship programs; Florida; private schools; enrollment

    By Leslie Postal, Beth Kassab and Annie Martin

    2018

  • Investigating wildlife issues

    Covering wildlife isn't just for animal lovers. These are stories about crime, sustainability, community and economic development, politics, and big money too. Reporters will explain how they investigated the seafood industry, alligator poaching in Florida, and the international illegal wildlife trade, among others. The panel will focus on how and where to find sources, public records and datasets, story ideas that you can pursue in your own community, and how to tell these stories in a way that anyone — even people who aren't particularly interested in animal issues — will find compelling.

    Tags: wildfire; sustainability; climate change; environment

    By Rachael Bale, Rene Ebersole and Lee van der Voo.

    2018

  • Conversation: Journalism educators roundtable

    This conversation was between educators who teach a data course or are thinking about starting one.

    Tags: data; education; teachers; university; school; college

    By Mark Horvit; Mindy McAdams

    2018