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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CAR Boot Camp helps reporter tell stories with raw data

In this column, Gregg Hennigan of The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette details how he used Computer-Assisted Reporting to turn raw data on public money distributed to Iowa communities into a story. He learned that 79 percent of the $395 million in statewide disaster funds went to Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa.
I was warned prior to IRE and NICAR’s CAR Boot Camp that many attendees leave feeling overwhelmed.

And at the end of the five-day class in Minneapolis in early October, I felt … overwhelmed.

But with my employer, The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, having spent a decent amount of money sending me to the camp, I was not in a position to return home and not produce.

More here.

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