Journalist's Toolbox Newsletter XXXII
Aug. 17, 2021
Make Sense of the Census Data Dump
The U.S. Census Bureau has released a huge amount of demographic statistics from the 2020 census, and reporters everywhere are scrambling to make sense of the numbers.
The data show how the ethnic, racial and voting age of neighborhoods, cities, counties and states has changed since in the past decade, along with redistricting.
More than a year ago, Journalist’s Toolbox launched a page of census resources. One of the best tools we highlight is CensusReporter.org, an independent project that helps journalists write census stories. Big Local News also is providing an archive of clean census data.
Place profiles and comparison pages provide a friendly interface for navigating data, including visualizations for a more useful first look. The site is breaking down and cleaning those new datasets and making them available on its site.
The U.S. Census Bureau also has a page with tables of data you can download as it becomes available. Be warned: The data is cumbersome, so I head to Census Reporter first to see if I can find the cleaned datasets.
Training video: Watch this video to discover other basic tools for visualizing the census. It’s part of a larger playlist of visualization and scraping tools that complement census reporting.
Around the Web …
Some useful science tools you can use for free …
Journo Newsletters: A good list of newsletters organized in a mobile-friendly web app.
VirusTotal: Analyze suspicious links and files.
Google Chrome Scraper extension: Helps you extract data from web pages by highlighting, copy and paste.
Cool Tool Tuesday
Don’t forget that at 1 p.m. CT each Tuesday, we feature a new resource on #cooltooltuesday. Be sure to check it out and retweet it. Here’s a video of some of my past faves:
In Quotes …
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.”
Copyright 2021 | Society of Professional Journalists