On Our Desk — Feb. 17, 2017
On Our Desk is a round-up of national or North Carolina news outlets using data to tell stories in innovative ways. Here’s what inspired us this week:
Data Used: Study by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. Legislation relating to human trafficking.
What we love: This story balances humanizing narratives with data to show how laws have failed to protect victims and prosecute traffickers. This story also shows how difficult it is to find reliable data on human trafficking in Texas, since Texas does not have a uniform policy on how the state and local agencies should collect data.
Story: Town Hall Tracker
By: The WNYC Data News Team
Data Used: Town hall meeting schedules, location data
What we love: We love stories that take data reporting a step further by giving readers tools they can use. In this case, readers in the metro NYC area can find congressional town halls based on their location. The application gives users information on who they will meet with, the town hall’s time, location and topic. Once readers go to the town halls, WNYC can find sources for stories by browsing the related hashtag on twitter.
By: Wynne Davis and Alyson Hurt of NPR
Data Used: California Department of Water Resources
What we love: This story takes a breaking news event and puts it in the context of a greater trend — a feat which can only be done by looking at historical data. Data from this story could allow readers to infer that more problems are ahead for the dam as we get into the summer months.
Data Used: DrillingInfo.com; Bureau of Land Management; Energy Information Administration; Christopher D. Elvidge, Earth Observation Group, NOAA-NESDIS National Geophysical Data Center; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
What we love: This story uses data to show how prevalent oil and gas drilling is in the U.S. While most coverage has been devoted to places like the Dakotas and Texas, the data shows how widespread the energy industry is across the United States.
Data Used: Historical nomination votes.
What we love: By using data, these reporters give credence to what many people suspected about Trump’s cabinet nominees. It also allows readers to look back at other contentious nominations by past administrations.
To submit your data stories for future On Our Desk roundups, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.