Socrata: Analyze all the datasets
May 25th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Socrata is a growing outfit that manages DBs for cities and non-profits.  This guy did a nice how-to page of his work with Socrata, and we thank him.!/socrata-summary/

New skills for new challenges
May 20th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

May 18, 2015

“In this era, when data journalism is seen as a way forward to deal with difficult issues in a balanced, unbiased manner, it is important to understand the rules that govern statistical data collection.
A.S. Paneerselvam

“Last week, Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya said that a glaring arithmetical error by the Karnataka High Court in computing the loans taken from banks by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa, her aides and their firms resulted in their acquittal. While it is for the highest judiciary to decide on the exactness of computation of loans and the legitimate income in Ms. Jayalalithaa’s case, it raises an interesting question about the skills journalists need to possess to evaluate facts.

One of the early lessons I learnt about being a journalist was the importance of constant skill enhancement and the need for comprehensive revision of domain expertise…”[MORE]

Washington Post Build App for Breaking News Freelancers
May 19th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

So cool: The @washingtonpost Talent Network. Like Uber or Task Rabbit, but to hire freelance reporters. Retweet from Mariam Rom

Sensor Journalism in San Diego
May 12th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

 An impressive and innovative class this spring at San Diego State University. Sensor Journalism 101. Check it out at

IRE, Esri partner to offer fellowships for mapping training
May 12th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

IRE and Esri have partnered to offer fellowships to attend mapping training at the 2015 Esri Conference from July 18-22 in San Diego or the IRE Mapping Boot Camp from August 7-9 at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Mo.

The Esri Conference fellowships cover airfare and four nights lodging, and the Boot Camp fellowships cover airfare and three nights lodging. The Esri Conference schedule includes attendance at the following events: Esri Business Summit (July 18-19) to learn about how international businesses are using advanced mapping technology: Conference Plenary Session (July 20); and hands-on training for journalists. The application deadline is May 14. Apply now!

A History of Choking off Transparency at Cal State Fullerton | Voice of OC
May 9th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Complaints from student journalists about the university’s communications department, and its chief spokesman Christopher Bugbee, are echoed by members of the professional media.

Source: A History of Choking off Transparency at Cal State Fullerton | Voice of OC

Tracking campaign contributions with MapLight
Jun 19th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

Maplight, a 501(c)(3) foundation, recently announced its “extensive mapping project examining the geographic origin of contributions to legislators by state; contributions from companies to legislators by state; and roll call votes by state and district on key bills in Congress.”

Today’s news peg points to “Who in Your State Has Contributed Money to Majority Leader Candidate Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)?”

MapLight looks to be a good edition to our GIS toolbox.

‘Try and find Narnia in the wardrobe’: inside the work of a research specialist
Jun 5th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

Thanks to Margo Williams for passing this interview along. It’s filled with important tips and insights gained from Myers’ years of experience. Read the full interview with Myers at

“Paul Myers is an internet research specialist working in the U.K. media. He joined the BBC in 1995 as a news information researcher. This followed an earlier career in computers and internet experience dating back to the 1970s.

“These days, his role sees him organise and deliver training courses related to internet investigation, digital security, social media research, data journalism, freedom of information and reporting statistics. His techniques have helped his colleagues develop creative approaches to research, conduct their investigations securely and have led many journalists to information they would never have otherwise been able to find. He has worked with leading British T.V. & radio news, current affairs, documentaries and consumer programmes.”

Important conference on Quantifying Journalism at Columbia J-School
May 30th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

The first Tow Research conference, Quantifying Journalism: Metrics, Data and Computation, on May 30, 2014 reflected on a big year in data journalism. Quantifying Journalism: Data, Metrics, and Computation brought together academics, practitioners and technologists to explore three critical questions at the heart of the data journalism conversation.

Simulations becoming third way to find scientific truth
May 6th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

Simulation modeling has been one of the cornerstones of the IAJ since its founding 20+ years ago.  Nice to see other disciplines catching up.  (That’s a joke, kid.)

Simulations becoming third way to find scientific truth  —

Computer simulation is increasingly being used as a third method to establish scientific truth, alongside theory and experimentation. Astrophysicist Kevin Heng breaks down the pros and cons of computer simulations in a perspective piece in American Scientist. “Simulations as a third way of establishing scientific truth are here to stay. The challenge is for the astrophysical community to wield them as transparent, reproducible tools, thereby placing them on an equally credible footing with theory and experiment,” he writes.

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