WJI 2015 Day 9: The AP, Pulitzer Prizes and cat videos

May 27, 2015

WJI 2015 Day 9

By Michaela Wasson

Today we learned there is more to the Internet than funny cat videos.

In the morning, Lee Pitts gave us a class on the possibilities of computer-assisted research. There are sites for almost every question I could think of asking. Mr. Pitts offered 24 pages of sites, to be exact.

Do you need to know how many people move from one state to another in a given amount of time? Check the IRS website and its migration database.

Interested in the type and amount of crime at your school? The U.S. Department of Education runs The Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool.

Computer assisted reporting involves the assimilation of vast amounts of information, organization and double-checking of data. But, this research can reveal thousands of stories. We read some of them including a couple Pulitzer Prize winners.

In the afternoon, Mr. Pitts took us line by line through the stories we wrote yesterday. He showed us how we could find a news hook, new angle and interesting story from the AP wire. A couple of the stories we had chosen were complicated legal or political issues. Mr. Pitts helped us understand how to explain them factually and clearly.

We started researching new AP stories to round out the day. Each student noted the story they were responsible for on the class white board. I’m writing on women’s votes in the 2016 presidential election.

Then, we left the office, probably to watch funny cat videos. 

For more information:

World Journalism Institute