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 "open" ...

  • Improper Techniques, Increased Risks: Deaths have raised questions about the risk of excessive or improper deployment of Tasers

    Police officers and prosecutors are supposed to uphold the law, but sometimes they break it -- and get away with it. Learn how to uncover criminal conduct among law enforcement using data analysis, open records laws and shoe-leather reporting. This presentation will go over ways to elevate the coverage of law enforcement and crime by watchdogging those whose job it is to uphold the law. It also focuses on the specific example of Taser misuse.

    Tags: tasers; police; weapons; criminal; misconduct

    By Cheryl W. Thompson

    2016

  • Mapping Basics

    Not all datasets need to be mapped, but some do! This mapping class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of visualizing geographic data. This tipsheet will go over how to find publicly available data, convert addresses to map points, join datasets and use the open source mapping software, QGIS.

    Tags: map; mapping; QGIS

    By Alexandra Kanik

    2016

  • Risks and rewards of rolling your own criminal justice data

    Over the past year and a half, criminal justice has risen to the top of the national conversation in a way it hasn’t for decades. Yet even as public and open data in many areas have improved, we’ve found that in criminal justice the data is as bad as it’s ever been. In this tipsheet, journalists from four news organizations — The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY and The Marshall Project — will talk about how (and why) they built their own databases to fill the gaps and what they learned in the process.

    Tags: criminal justice; databases

    By Tom Meagher

    2016

  • Risks and Rewards of Rolling Your Own Criminal Justice Data

    Over the past year and a half, criminal justice has risen to the top of the national conversation in a way it hasn’t for decades. Yet even as public and open data in many areas have improved, we’ve found that in criminal justice the data is as bad as it’s ever been. In this PowerPoint presentation, journalists from four news organizations — The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY and The Marshall Project — will talk about how (and why) they built their own databases to fill the gaps and what they learned in the process.

    Tags: criminal justice; databases

    By Tom Meagher

    2016

  • Intro to R

    Add statistical heft to your reporting by using R, a free, powerful open-source programming language. This tipsheet will teach you to take raw data, import it into R, and start your analysis. Topics will include basic data importing, working with directories, reading in data, installing packages, creating simple visualizations, and how to clean, explore and sort your data. It will also talk about how to find help when you're stuck.

    Tags: R; programming; data analysis; importing; directories; visualization

    By Amelia McNamara

    2016

  • Behind the curtain: What open data looks like from within the government

    What types of challenges do advocates for open data within the government have to struggle through, and what can we do as journalists to help the process along? Learn about what champions for open data working with or within government agencies have accomplished so far, what they're excited about, and what things (big and small) journalists can do to help improve open data.

    Tags: open data; government

    By Sisi Wei

    2016

  • Autotune: Making reusable graphics

    Autotune is Vox Media's open source tool for managing reusable apps and graphics. The following presentation and tipsheets go through how to use Autotune to take your apps and graphics from one-off to reusable. Introduction: https://source.opennews.org/en-US/articles/introducing-autotune/ Github repo: https://github.com/voxmedia/autotune/wiki/

    Tags: Autotune; news apps; graphics;

    By Casey Miller; Kavya Sukumar

    2016

  • Tools to Handle PDFs

    A long, long time ago… 22 years to precise… Adobe created the PDF as a way to have a document look the same no matter what computer or operating system it was displayed on. This seemingly innocent idea has become the pervasive standard solution for governments and corporations to store all documents. Odds are, you’ve come across some useful bits of data contained within a PDF. Or worse, your local government complied with their electronic mandate for open records requests by providing scanned in images of spreadsheets embedded into a PDF. It’s enough to makes you wonder if PDFs were put on this planet to make your job harder. Luckily you’re not alone, and there are now lots of tools available to get organized information out of a PDF. And, if need be, we can put a work-flow together to crack some worst case scenarios.

    Tags: pdfs; data; records

    By Acton Gordon

    2016

  • Intro to database manager MySQL I

    Plenty of data these days come in large or relational tables that require a good database manager, beyond what Excel and even Access can offer. MySQL is a free, powerful, and popular open-source tool, and with it you can transform and analyze almost any dataset. In this tipsheet, we will introduce you to MySQL and how it works.

    Tags: data; mysql; analysis

    By Paula Lavinge

    2016

  • Cleaning data with OpenRefine - repo

    Repo for Robert Gebeloff's hands-on presentation on OpenRefine. https://github.com/gebelo/nicar2016

    Tags: data; cleaning; openrefine; repo

    By Robert Gebeloff

    2016