Title Page Computer Assisted Reporting Elena Egawhary
CAR – What is it? <ul><li>Spreadsheets and Databases </li></ul><ul><li>Brief History </li></ul><ul><li>A source like any other </li></ul><ul><li>One of many tools used by journalists </li></ul><ul><li>A way of evening out the playing field with other organisations (Government, corporations…etc) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The journalist who begins a story with the knowledge of the patterns gleaned from 150,000 court records is way ahead of the reporter who sees only a handful of cases each week.” </li></ul>
The Times The Times Data: Obtained via a Freedom of Information Request sent to all UK police forces. The request asked for disclosure of all legal claims filed against each police force for misconduct and whether the claims went to court or were settled Published: 3 rd December 2007 Findings: Heather Brooke, Frances Gibb, Sean O’Neill and James Ball found that the total amount spent by the police force on claims for damages or compensation was £44m. It also became apparent that 76% of all claims against the police were settled out of court, to avoid adverse publicity or because the police force did not feel that they would succeed in court. The Times was also able to produce a league table of police forces based on the number of claims for misconduct.
The Guardian The Guardian Data: The register of gifts and hospitality for the Energy Development Unit (EDU) at the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) was obtained via a Freedom of Information Request. Published: 6 th July 2007 Findings: Elena Egawhary copied the register into Excel and analysed it. She found that Jim Campbell, head of the EDU, the section in BERR in charge of regulating the energy industry, had accepted lavish gifts from multinational oil corporations on a weekly basis. She also found that the rest of the department had also been accepting expensive gifts and hospitality on a regular basis.
Extraordinary Rendition MULTIPLE MEDIA OUTLETS Data: Flight records compiled by plane spotters Published: Ongoing Findings: This is the highest profile CAR project undertaken by a British journalist to date. Stephen Grey put data obtained from plane spotters into an Excel spreadsheet and then used sophisticated mapping software to plot the course of the planes and discover where people were being rendered by the CIA.
British Data – Where is it? British Data – Where is it?
Electoral Commission Example Electoral Commission Example
Copy and Paste to Excel Copy from the web and paste to Excel
Analysis-sorting Analysis A very simple data sort will help you find out what was the largest donation made by an individual to an MP since 2001…..
Analysis-filtering We can also find out who donated to MP’s one month before the Labour party deputy leadership election campaign by doing a simple filter….
Pivot Table Number Crunching By creating a pivot table you can ‘interview’ your data in a more comprehensive way. Here are a few questions to get us started…. Which MP attracts the most donations? (who is more popular?) Which MP makes the highest amount of money from donations? Which party makes the most money? Which party has the highest number of donations? Which type of donor gives the most money? Who were the top 15 donors in terms of amount? Which donor made the highest number of donations?
Snapshots of CAR in the US Snapshots of CAR in the US Future Possibilities
CBS News CBS News Data: State suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Findings: A five-month investigation by CBS News uncovered a startling suicide rate for veterans. Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs keep accurate numbers on veteran suicide rates. CBS News requested suicide data from all 50 states, and 45 states provided the information. In 2005, "there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That's 120 each and every week, in just one year." Among veterans 20 to 24 years of age, the suicide rate was two to four times greater than non-veterans of the same age.
The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal Data: SEC and other financial data Findings: The Wall Street Journal "Perfect Payday," a series of articles over the year that exposed the widespread practice of secretly backdating stock option grants to benefit corporate insiders. Lead writers Charles Forelle and James Bandler used a statistical model to calculate the wildly improbable odds that options grant dates would just happen to be so profitable to dozens of executives at some of the nation’s best-known companies. Their stories about the scandal spurred an ongoing federal investigation into rigged options at more than 100 companies. Pulitzer Prize
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta Journal-Constitution Data: AJC-built database of Georgia Supreme Court decisions since 1982 Findings: Citing arbitrary and unfair practices in Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court disbanded the death penalty nationwide thirty-five years ago. The death penalty was ultimately reinstated with promises of reform but The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says application of the death penalty remains “as predictable as a lightning strike.” Reporters Bill Rankin, Heather Vogell, Sonji Jacobs and Megan Clarke spent two years investigating the reasons for the inconsistencies. They analyzed this data with multiple regression and prompted the Legislature to consider changes in the capital punishment laws.
Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School www.tcij.org