For a visit to an awesome J-school class this week, I got jazzed up reviewing some fabulous examples of ideas students can do for computer-assisted reporting on campus. Here's a few I really like:
Probes of campus crime, 911 calls - or faked stats: (crime stats can be found online, campus police, local fire/police are other sources)
The Daily Iowan's investigation of how dangerously drunk students were tying up ambulance services in Iowa City: (Records: police reports, 911 calls)
The Red and Black newspaper - University of Georgia paper's investigation of sexual harassment complaints and cover-ups on campus. A lot of great stories. (Campus legal records, interviews)
Sadly an older story by The Washington Square News, NYU's student paper, is no longer online - it probed how the university deflated campus crime stats by classifying 87% of its residence hall population as "off campus." A newer more generic story reports that the campus is safer: http://nyunews.com/2013/02/12/crime-3/
Probes of sports team/athletes/stadiums:
Victory and Ruins - stories about UW athletes' run-ins with the law: (Compare rosters to court records) http://seattletimes.com/html/victoryandruins/
Who says investigations can't be fun - Check out "What's lurking in your stadium food?"- a fabulous story by my fellow UNL alum Paula Lavigne (Interviews, health department, other docs). http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=100725/stadiumconcessions
Analysis about sports' scholarships - NY Times:
Great web series by students at UTEP and universities that explores immigration from Mexico to the US due to recent violence and the impacts on schools, communities and campus culture.
Stories about cheating, attendance or grades:
Analysis of grade school scores -and evidence of cheating
And the ever-popular faculty salary stories:
Some data is even online here: http://www.collegiatetimes.com/databases/salaries
Many related stories:
For more story ideas and inspiration - check out the IRE website and archives.www.ire.org
IRE's campus coverage project has links for students here - http://campuscoverage.org/
Hot topics - investigations by subject
- Vexed voters: the undead, the overvote, stalled motor voters, those without IDs
- Border bloodshed:US citizens murdered in Mexico in the last five years exceeds 470 cases - most unsolved
- Houston is major center for prescription drug dealing - and deaths...
- Harris County Probate courts: Millions at stake
- The saga of Sam Kent and the secretive federal judicial complaint system
- 1970s Serial Killings - Who really did them?