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Data Journalism 101: Online, Oct. 22-23

The Particulars

One-hour session
Noon or 4 p.m. ET
Oct. 22-23, 2013


Pulitzer winner
Michael J. Berens
of The Seattle Times

Registration is now closed.

Did you miss our live sessions?

Check out archived recordings and materials at the self-guided training page.

Poke behind the winners of most major investigative awards from the Pulitzer to Barlett & Steele to the Loebs, and you’ll usually find a database.

Michael J. Berens, who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, calls databases, especially those you put together yourself, the “secret ingredient” in award-winning work.

Join him for this two-hour webinar and learn how to break out of the pack and create “powerful works from facts that are hiding in plain sight,” as Berens puts it on his website, Watchdog Reporter.



On Oct. 22, how to:

  • Obtain existing databases, including what to ask for before you ask for the data and how to negotiate for data
  • Use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data
  • Import data from the Web
Seniors for Sale The Seattle Times Photo by Alan Berner

Photo by Alan Berner of The Seattle Times

On Oct. 23, how to:

  • Think about compartmentalizing data and creating your own database — when no public database exists —  from paper records
  • Analyze data using basic commands in Excel
  • Integrate data into stories in a meaningful way, including finding the names behind the numbers



This webinar is for journalists looking to do short- to medium-term enterprise stories based on data. This is an introduction to database reporting. You do not need to know Excel, but those who do know Excel will get even more out of the webinar.

For more on the potential data journalism offers, please see the free online book, The Data Journalism Handbook, which defines data journalism as “obtaining, reporting on, curating and publishing data in the public interest.”



Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens is a reporter for The Seattle Times and a winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.He previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch, where he began as a copy boy in 1981.

For 'Seniors for Sale,' Berens built a database that revealed 230 unreported deaths in adult family homes. Image courtesy The Seattle Times.

Berens’ work has received dozens of national awards, including multiple honors from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; the National Press Club; the White House Correspondents Association; and Investigative Reporters and Editors; and Associated Press Media Editors. Additionally, his work in recent years was recognized with a Gerald Loeb Award; Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism; and Selden Ring Award for Investigative Journalism.

He was the 2011 bronze award winner in the Reynolds Center’s Barlett and Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism. | Behind the Barlett & Steele Award: Berens’ tips from “Seniors for Sale”

He is a frequent journalism trainer for various media-related organizations and is a former adjunct professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

This follow-up webinar was requested by those who attended Berens’ Reynolds Center webinar in February 2013. You can find the recording, handout and slides from that webinar here: Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story.



Check out our Technology Help Page for connectivity requirements, helpful tips and an instructional video on how to access Reynolds Center webinars. You will receive an email with the URL and instructions on how to join the session. We also archive recordings of all our training at http://bit.ly/self-guided-training.



This webinar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. Those who attend three of the Reynolds Center’s training events are eligible to receive a Circle of Achievement certificate.  If you have any questions about the center’s training, please email Executive Director Linda Austin or call 602-496-9187.

In Calendar: Workshops, Webinars, Investigation, Training.

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I enrolled for Data Journalism 101 Online, Oct. 22-23?

  2. Linda Austin says:

    Yes, Anonymous. You are signed up.
    And as for the comment on the free data journalism book: the content of the book is available free to read at that link.

  3. says:

    The offer of the free data journalism book above is not free when you go to the linked page.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can read it for free online by clicking on the chapter links. It only costs if you want to order a hard copy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Will it start at noon or at 4 PM?

  6. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, Anonymous. You can attend either the noon or 4 p.m. Eastern Time sessions. It is the same content, repeated live twice a day, to accommodate different attendees’ schedules.

  7. For future courses, it would help if you could also provide calendar reminders which we could add to our calendar appointments.

  8. Linda Austin says:

    Good idea, Shuchir. We’ll consider adding that. Thanks for suggesting.

    And mwozniak, please check your email. If others have the same issue, please email me at linda.austin@businessjournalism.org. Thanks for your interest.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have no idea whether I registered or not, but I’d like to attend. Is it too late if I didn’t register previously?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it too late to register

  11. Linda Austin says:

    Please contact me off-line about registering late. My email is linda.austin@businessjournalism.org. Thanks for your interest!

  12. mwozniak says:

    I and some of my colleagues at The News-Press in Fort Myers, FL are trying to sign up online for today’s webinar and the site says the registration is closed. Can we still sign up? Didn’t know there would be a limited number of attendees, since the training is online. Thank you.

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