Tag Archives: community journalism

Databases

Entry by Julie Wootton

(Information courtesy of Mark Brigg’s “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive” and the Readership Institute)

-A database is a collection of data (or information).
-Data does not lose its novelty or timeliness as quickly.
-Data such as crime statistics can be of personal and public interest.
-There is no space constraint on the Internet.
-Data that is collected online can be condensed and used in print publications.
-Remember that databases do not have to be complex or difficult to create. Databases can be created fairly easily using Microsoft Excel.

-Database journalism is considered a new reporting method, along with other kinds of community-based journalism.
Crowdsourcing= using a group of people or community to perform a job that normally just one person does.
Open source reporting= a way for a reporter to solicit ideas, sources, etc. on a particular subject.
Distributed reporting- this most frequently pertains to reader-generated content.

Reasons to use databases:
-To more efficiently organize information
-To organize lists of sources for newsroom personnel
-To make information more accessible and easier to understand for readers

Using databases for news coverage:
-“Alternative story form”- information is broken down into clearly labeled sections or lists that present information simply.
-Information can then be easily put into a database.

Some examples of databases:
The Whitworthian’s restaurant guide
The New York Times’ skiing travel guide
USA Today sports scores
Washington State registered sex offender database

Other resources:
Interview with Derek Willis, database editor for The Washington Post
General information and resources about database journalism from the Readership Institute
Mark Brigg’s “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive”
Data Center on courier-journal.com
Data Central on indystar.com
Excel database tutorial

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