Data Delver: Matt Waite, St. Petersburg Times

Posted by on Jan 31, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | 2 Comments

Journalism in the modern era. What is it? I’ve got some ideas, and a lot of questions, but I certainly don’t know the answer. It necessitates more than a story, more than an article, more than a photo, more than a Web page. I’m pretty certain of one thing, though: It’s got to do with […]

Data Delver: Perry Swanson, The Gazette

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | No Comments

When we think of computer-assisted reporting, large-scale investigative projects are often what first come to mind. There’s no question of the value and impact such endeavors can have on society. But CAR has many other purposes, too. One is bringing evidence to and localizing breaking news, and helping people find out more about their communities. […]

How to “Group By” in Excel

Posted by on Jan 20, 2010 in Blog, CAR, excel, sql | 2 Comments

Random time-saving Excel tip.  Want to condense a long column to only display unique entries?  Go to the Data menu, select Filter and Advanced Filter.  Voila, a check box labeled “Unique records only”.  Don’t know why I never noticed this before. Or, you know, you could use Group By in SQL.  But no need to […]

Changes in the numbers of students majoring in programming and social sciences

What is a traditional path to programming nowadays? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot, esp. in the realm of the journalist-programmer. So many people from the older school of journalism came through using databases as tools to help with reporting, not because they took a class in it. That’s certainly encouraging for […]

Collaborating with computers to parse “big data”

Posted by on Jan 18, 2010 in Blog, CAR, sql, theory, web | No Comments

Picture it: You’ve been given a new story assignment, and you have to leave for the interview in five minutes. You’ve got to have enough background to ask the right questions, but there’s no time to do research.  Somehow pulling that all-nighter on an English term paper in college seems like a cakewalk. Luckily, you’re […]

Data Delver: Ted Mellnik, Charlotte Observer database editor

Computer-assisted reporting is important because of its potential for reporting and analysis.  Visualization is important to present the information to readers. They both fall under the responsibilities of Ted Mellnik, database editor at the Charlotte Observer. His passion for data is as clear from a conversation with him as it is from his work.  Combine […]

Why technology matters: It’s about reporting

Posted by on Jan 11, 2010 in Blog, CAR, programming, theory, web | No Comments

“Figure out what you want to do, and get really good at it.”  That’s been the overarching advice I’ve heard in the past few weeks, as I seek to understand where I might fit in the “new media” world.  It all sounds fine, although the more I meet interesting people who’ve been looking at data […]

A list of 40 CAR-friendly news organizations
(my adventures in parsing the IRE directory)

Posted by on Jan 11, 2010 in Blog, CAR | 2 Comments

Sure, data-driven reporting investigations sound good, but how does an aspiring journalist know which organizations are most supportive of that kind of work? I don’t believe there’s one all-encompassing way to tell, but I would argue that one measure might be the number of Investigative Reporters and Editors-card-carrying members in a news organization. And why […]

Which states have been hit hardest by unemployment in the last decade?

Posted by on Jan 10, 2010 in Blog, CAR, class, data visualizations | One Comment

I matched up the unemployment rates for each state in November 2009 with the unemployment rates from Nov. 1999, that is, the same measurements from a decade prior. Then, I calculated the absolute change of the unemployment rate, to see which states have been hit the hardest, looking at the quantity of citizens they are able to keep employed.

Data set here, culled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The limitations of SQL and Access

Posted by on Nov 25, 2009 in Blog, CAR | No Comments

Quick tips on how SQL and Access differ in nuances associated with CAR. I speak from the experience Team Data and I have had this week on our CAR project over at Medill.