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PBS post: Sharing our work, does it make “Census”?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2011 in Blog, pbsnews.org | No Comments

Yes, my editor has an affinity for puns and actually encourages the type of behavior in the headline. Breaking out of the typical j-school mold a little more each day (but little about me is typical to begin with).

I was delighted to hear that USA Today, and more specifically data journalist-colleagues Anthony DeBarros and Paul Overberg among others, would be releasing ‘ready-to-analyze’ census data to IRE members. It’s yet another great reason to join the club. And helps me deal with the whole “This-is-my-first-census-and-I’m-the-main-data-geek-at-a-national-organization-and-I-better-do-it-well-and-right-and-make-it-interesting-and-engaging.” Seriously, I’m still scared I won’t know what I’m doing. At least now I can’t say I don’t know where to start. Now I’ll say I’m scared I won’t know how to continue. You get to watch the experimentation, kinda like a car wreck…

Anyway, sharing our work, without stepping on each other creatively. This is the epitome of what IRE stands for. So, thanks, Anthony, Paul and others involved!

A clip from my post:

There’s a lot of cleaning, separating and conversion that has to happen before we can even start looking for stories. This cleaning also requires a certain level of expertise, both in technical ability, and just being a Census geek. Not every newsroom has people who can do this. And where the data geeks do exist, they have a limited amount of time.

Read the rest over at the PBS Newsblog.

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