Tutorials




Upcoming Appearances:

Hacks/Hackers Miami Miami, FL February 2019
NICAR Newport Beach, CA March 2019

Online Tutorials

Scraping without Programming

"Scraping" is a catch-all word for grabbing information off a web page and into your spreadsheet - whether the website wants you to or not. This tutorial shows how to do it with some easy Google Sheets formulas and, most importantly, helps explains how this whole thing works.

This tutorial is also available in Chinese and as a video on NICAR-LEARN.

Research tiers for investigative freelancers

Finding a successful business model for a freelance investigative journalist can be a daunting task, and over a few years I've come up with a system of tiers designed to maximize success and minimize risk for pursuing story ideas which may help others decide whether to pursue an investigation.

This article is also available as a presentation from NICAR.

Best tools and apps for reporters (2018)

Reporters are asked to do more now than they were before the digital age, but luckily, there is an almost limitless supply of tools with which to do them. In this talk, Poynter's Ren LaForme and I recommend our favorite tools for transcribing audio, scraping PDFs and everything in between.

This talk is also available as slides from IRE.

Threat Modeling against Fake News

Misinformation is a growing force in the digital-first world of journalism, and a source of some panic from reporters and audiences alike. This talk from 2017 outlines a few paths forward, including making attempts to understand the motivation behind fake news-spreaders.

This talk is also available as a video from BalCCon.

What to look for in deep fake videos

"Deep fakes" are videos that have been edited to show someone's head on the wrong person's body - mouth, words and all. This holds deep potential for misinformation in a few different ways, and unfortunately, defensive technology is far from catching up. Here is what reporters can do in the meantime.

This article is also available in Russian and Bangla.

How to start doing data journalism

Most, if not all, newsrooms have realized that they want data in their reporting. But how do you go about it when your staff is already overworked? This strategy study examines case studies, both successful and unsuccessful.

This paper has been recommended by the Harvard Shorenstein Center and the Knight Digital Media Center as a teaching resource.

Covering crimes on campus

University campuses provide a unique hunting ground for investigative stories. This tipsheet explains some of the most common and accessible sources for breaking in to these closed communities, including CLERY reports, Title IX complaints, FERPA exceptions and FBI UCR statistics.

Warning: this tipsheet was published in 2014 and may be out of date.