Thursday, March 28, 2013

Students dig CAR (computer-assisted reporting)

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:

Probes of sports team/athletes/stadiums:
Victory and Ruins - stories about UW athletes' run-ins with the law: (Compare rosters to court records)

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).

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:
Many related stories:

For more story ideas and inspiration - check out the IRE website and
IRE's campus coverage project has links for students here -

Americans murdered in Mexico

Americans murdered in Mexico
US citizens continue to be killed in ongoing border violence. I've been covering this since 2009.

Was this teen offender wrongfully executed?

Was this teen offender wrongfully executed?
Debate over this 2005 Chron investigation - and other cases continues in Texas

Who killed Baby Jane Doe?

Who killed Baby Jane Doe?
A 2003 investigation from the now online-only newspaper gave this baby back her name. But her murder remains unsolved...