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 [email protected] for questions.

Search results for "numbers" ...

  • Make your business stories sing

    Business stories are often rooted in numbers, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. This presentation will provide tips for identifying the characters and anecdotes that fuel compelling storytelling, approaches for cultivating sources and some non-traditional techniques to get records and data about the businesses you are investigating.

    Tags: business reporting; storytelling; anecdotes; characters; source building; financial reporting

    By Anupreeta Das, Alison Young and Lauren Etter

    2019

  • Making data investigations shine on multiple platforms

    Investigators often have a ton of numbers and details that can be tough to make simple enough to understand and visually stunning enough to grab an audience's attention. Using examples, this tipsheet explains the decisions to use certain formats, creative ideas and different platforms/tools to highlight all that digging and elevate its importance in a story.

    Tags: investigative reporting; multimedia; multi-platform; broadcast; digital tools; web tools; audience engagement; podcast; audio stories;

    By Josh Hinkle, Gabriel Dance and Darla Cameron

    2019

  • Storytelling and the Census

    The U.S. Census Bureau collects countless statistics on populations and industries. How do you comb through mountains of data and tell the stories behind the numbers? Gerson Vasquez, data visualization lead for the U.S. Census Bureau, walks you through ways to present Census data to a general audience in a variety of formats, from news stories, podcasts and videos to graphics and interactive visualizations.

    Tags: census; U.S. Census Bureau; data; data visualization; podcasts; video; interactive visualizations; population data; demographics

    By Gerson Vasquez

    2019

  • Reporting on energy and the environment: Finding the narrative in the numbers

    From industrial spills to the oversight of nuclear plants, to pipelines and fracking – learn how to dig deep on environmental and energy investigations in your part of the country. This tipsheet will cover how to get the data, how to translate that into a compelling story and how to get results. There will be take-home tips for broadcasters and print/online journalists alike on ways to humanize and visualize seemingly dry stories about science and industry and drive impact.

    Tags: energy; environment; industrial spills; nuclear plants; pipelines; fracking; energy data; environment data

    By Madison Hopkins and Mike Soraghan

    2018

  • Finding the story: Immigration

    There are some 320 million people in the U.S., and 43 million of them were born abroad. About 11 million people are undocumented and over 5.1 million children have at least one undocumented parent. 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the U.S. without proper documentation as children. Over 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the U.S. came as refugees. On any given day, about 40,000 people are in immigration detention. The numbers surrounding immigration can be daunting and hard to track down. This tipsheet offers a new data set and ideas for stories to dig into locally. And discusses how to question numbers about immigration — and what to do when the government is not providing data about its immigration actions.

    Tags: immigration; immigration data; undocumented immigrants

    By Angilee Shah

    2018

  • Beyond numbers: Finding characters and stories in data

    Most reporters think that data is most useful to spot trends or count events. But each of those data points could be a story, and finding the anecdotes, characters and stories in data is just as important as finding evidence. This tipsheet will help you find your story in data and share tips on how to focus on the best characters.

    Tags: data; anecdotes; characters; storytelling with data

    By Megan Luther

    2018

  • Beginner PDF: Unleash the data – tools and tricks for taming PDFs

    Using this tipsheet, take a one-page airport traffic report from Miami International Airport and demo three ways to get it into a spreadsheet so you can do more with the numbers. Using editor. No coding experience needed. Then we’ll demo PDFtk, an easy command line tool that can merge a folder of PDFs or split a PDF into separate files by page.

    Tags: PDFs; Tabula; CometDocs; Sublime Text; PDFtk

    By Adelaide Chen

    2018

  • Using drug databases: Tips for avoiding pitfalls

    The CDC’s WONDER database is the best national database of drug deaths, but it's outdated and flawed, leading to undercounted heroin deaths and overcounted deaths from prescription opioids. Yet this is the database that researchers primarily turn to time and time again to identify and prove drug trends, which then becomes the baseline for policy decisions about drugs. Learn what’s available in data, how to use the CDC numbers (they are tricky), understand the pitfalls and possible workarounds and ways to localize reporting some of the data-based problems.

    Tags: drugs; WONDER database; Center for Disease Control; CDC; overdoses; prescription opioids

    By Pat Beall

    2018

  • Reporting on guns

    From mass shootings to police shootings, guns are penetrating all types of communities in record numbers. Learn how to report on gun theft and link stolen guns to crimes, and obtain and analyze data to examine trends in gun injuries and deaths. These tipsheets offer strategies to help you effectively cover issues involving guns.

    Tags: guns; shootings; gun theft; gun injuries; gun deaths

    By Brian Freskos, Kristin Hussey, Kathleen McGrory and Cheryl W. Thompson

    2018

  • Data journalism for local investigations

    Whether you're a data novice or savvy numbers cruncher, you'll learn about key data sets that can help you deliver watchdog stories with high impact.

    Tags: local investigations; data; New York; datasets

    By Lylla Younes

    2019