Expert Commentary

Dataset digest: Open data, tools and resources that can help fuel your stories

Running list of useful datasets that can help drive stories as well as best practices, interviews with leading journalists and primers for journalists and students to sharpen their skills.


For reporters interested in data, this is a fascinating time to be working in journalism. Intriguing new datasets are becoming more abundant by the day — from to a wide variety of open data hubs from states, counties and cities. Helpful digital resources seem to be everywhere, from news-focused apps to data-cleanup tools.

All these can provide rich material for journalists, but the challenge is how to keep up. Thankfully, there’s a lot of knowledge sharing as well. Among the media support organizations every news reporter should be familiar with are the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ NICAR program and database and ProPublica’s data resource pages. (For educators, IRE has just released a well-designed modular coursepack that is well worth checking out.)

In this post, which will be regularly updated, we’ll point to datasets that can help drive stories as well as resources for journalists, including best practices, interviews with data journalists and primers for sharpening your skills. Some of these are familiar to the hard-core data journalism community but often remain underutilized by the press as a whole. We hope you’ll help us surface hidden datasets that deserve wider exposure (please email or ping us on Twitter).



Overview, best practices




Keywords: data journalism, big data, data visualization, dataset digest

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