3 articles Articles posted in Open Source

Spreadsheets for data journalism

Spreadsheets for data journalism

For many students and journalists, spreadsheets are the entry-level computer-assisted reporting tool and it’s easy to see why: They come installed on many computers and are relatively simple to use. Most students learn how to use spreadsheets in middle school, if not before. Another attraction for data journalists is that government agencies release a lot of data in formats that can be easily opened in spreadsheet programs. It’s no wonder that some data journalists have …

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Open-source tools proving just as robust for learning data journalism

Open-source tools proving just as robust for learning data journalism

After a few bumps, the great open-source data journalism experiment is rolling along. My students installed OpenOffice on their Mac or PC laptops weeks ago and have been using the Calc spreadsheet to analyze data. Its interface isn’t as polished as Microsoft Excel, but we’ve been able to make it do almost everything we need.     Calc lets you run something like Excel’s Pivot Tables to organize and summarize raw data. They’re called Data …

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The great open source experiment

This semester in my Computer-Assisted Reporting class we’re experimenting with open-source software. Traditionally, I teach students how to use commercial software — Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Access database manager — to clean and analyze data. That makes sense: Computers in many professional newsrooms already have Excel installed. Also, most students already have Excel installed on their laptops, which are mandatory at the Mizzou J-School. On the downside, most J-School students have Macs, so they’re unable …

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