Good news for investigative reporting in New Jersey. The Center for Cooperative Media will be hosting two specialized trainings, free, in the next few months.
First up, veteran investigative reporter Ben Lesser will show us how to use SQLite. SQLite is a free extension for your web browser to help you to organize and sort data — whether you’re analyzing municipal budgets or food inspection reports. Use data to tell more sophisticated stories, and concentrate your reporting efforts on the right subjects.
The training is scheduled for August 4 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Schmitt Hall 311 at Montclair State University. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of database analysis, and learn how to structure basic queries. We’ll also be using SQLite to analyze a real database. Everyone will leave the three-hour session with a basic understanding of SQL, the language used to query data, and a familiarity with the SQLite program. You’ll also be given access to several datasets that you can use to sharpen your data skills going forward.
Click here to sign up today for free.
Next, we’re proud to announce that we will be hosting the American Press Institute’s Fact-Checking Project at Montclair State on October 8. We’ve teamed up with the API in an attempt to hold politicians accountable to the facts during an election season. With the November 2014 election season just ahead, and the 2016 presidential elections right around the corner, there’s no better time to educate yourself and your newsroom about how to tell fact from fiction in political claims — and political mudslinging.
The training will be held in Schmitt 311 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. With a grant from the Democracy Fund, the API will be providing the training free of charge. The session will give reporters the skills they need to cover political campaigns. We’ll also be showing more experienced reporters a set of new fact-checking tools that have become available in recent months. We’ll outline new resources and best practices in fact-checking, and demonstrate how fact-checking can help to inform and grow your audience.
Afterwards, the API will spotlight some of your best work on its website.
Remember that the Center for Cooperative Media offers free help in investigative reporting and filing OPRA requests year round. Fill out this form to request investigative help and read more about our OPRA Sherpa program here.