Data Journalism

Friday, June 29, 2012


The immense amounts of data collected by local, state and federal government agencies can be an incredibly valuable trove for enterprising journalists.  It can also be a pointless slog. NPR's StateImpact project database reporting coordinator Matt Stiles and computational journalism professor at Duke Sarah Cohen explain how they find good stories in a sea of government data.  


Sarah Cohen and Matt Stiles

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [4]


Remember that governments have been cutting staff for the past twenty years so data collection has been compromised. Many valuable observations of government workers are not being placed in a larger context because we do don't have institutional resources.

Jul. 08 2012 12:04 PM
NicolaB from Berkeley, CA

Missed the name of the man talking about collecting data in Texas, I'd be very interested in him investigating one of his statements, i.e., that Texas is a conservative state. For most of my lifetime, Texas voted solidly Democratic, and, of course, produced inimitable progressives like Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower. First, what do the data have to tell us about when, how, and, most importantly, why that shift occurred. Second, do the data give us any indications that the process could be reversed within the foreseeable future?

Jul. 01 2012 05:30 PM

Boston City Council has been deflecting public access to the clean text transcript of the stenographic record of the public meetings of the City Council. Journalist professionals at City hall have been too ingratiated to get the coverage they do manage to look more closely at the shortcomings with respect to open government, transparency at Boston City Council.

Jul. 01 2012 02:17 AM
Gray Calhoun from Ames, IA

You should have talked to a statistician about the last story (involving non-reproducible research). These patterns are exactly what we'd expect to see for false but intriguing findings, especially since academic journals are reluctant to publish "boring" papers--papers that rediscover common sense results. While I can see why a researcher might want to believe that his results can't be reproduced because of magic, it's not an opinion that should be left essentially unchallenged.

Jun. 30 2012 04:56 PM

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