How to Develop Stories from 2020 Census Data

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How to Develop Stories from 2020 Census Data

This is a five-part online course designed to help journalists access and analyze data from the 2020 census to inform their work. Learn at your own pace and on your own time.

Start Anytime

Overview

  • Enroll in this online course for free and get help from experienced data journalists.
  • Practice working with census data and thinking critically about stories in your community.
  • Learn at your own pace and on your own time.

$0.00

SKU: NUSTD02-22 Category: Tag:

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this self-directed course, you will be able to:

  • Interpret 2020 census data for your community
  • Download and work with the data in a spreadsheet
  • Pitch and pursue census story ideas

$0.00

Overview

  • Enroll in this online course for free and get help from experienced data journalists.
  • Practice working with census data and thinking critically about stories in your community.
  • Learn at your own pace and on your own time.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

The U.S. Census Bureau released in-depth demographic statistics from the 2020 census in August 2021, with more releases still to come. This once-a-decade data dump is immense, detailed, highly technical — and massively influential in communities across the United States. Journalists from all beats will use this data in their reporting for years to come. This self-directed course, part of Poynter’s training series on the 2020 census, will help journalists access and analyze census data to cover their changing communities, now and in the future. 

In five lessons – taken at your own pace – we’ll walk you through how to find good stories in your community or state using the latest “redistricting data” file. It includes numbers about overall population totals, race and Hispanic origin, and housing units. We’ll show you how to find data for states, counties, cities and even local neighborhoods, and compare 2020 counts with 2010 numbers, using tools developed for journalists and available through Big Local News.

In addition to informing apportionment and redistricting, these numbers steer at least $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding, guide enforcement of civil rights laws and influence decisions about where to build new schools, roads or businesses. They also are used for research on health, impact of climate change and other topics. 

By the end of this two and a half hour online course, you will be able to begin reporting and storytelling immediately. You also will have access to presentation slides and lists of resources to help you for years to come.

Questions?

If you need assistance, email us at info@poynter.org

Once you enroll in this course, you can start anytime and engage with lessons on your own schedule. There will be five lessons to complete. We estimate that it will take around two and a half hours to complete the entire course. Lessons include:

Lesson 1: What you need to know to get started

Lesson 2: Downloading data in detail

Lesson 3: Story recipe for covering local data about race and Hispanic origin

Lesson 4: Story recipe for covering population and housing change

Lesson 5: Guide for looking at neighborhood-level numbers

Who should enroll

This program is for journalists interested in using the latest census data for a wide range of stories across beats that include government, schools, neighborhoods and business. No prior data or census experience required.

Cost

This webinar is offered tuition-free, and is part of Poynter’s ongoing census training series.

This effort is led by Big Local News at Stanford University, Census Reporter at Northwestern University and the Associated Press, and is made possible with support from the Google News Initiative, in cooperation with the JSK Journalism Fellowships, and an anonymous donor.

Instructors

  • D'Vera Cohn
    D’Vera Cohn
    Senior Writer/Editor, Pew Research Center
    D’Vera Cohn is a senior writer/editor focusing on immigration and demographics at Pew Research Center. She also manages the center's research on the 2020 census....
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  • Eric Sagara
    Senior data journalist, Big Local News, Stanford University
    Eric Sagara is currently a senior data journalist for Big Local News at Stanford University. Previously, he was a News Applications Fellow at ProPublica. Prior...
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  • MaryJo Webster
    Data Editor, Star Tribune
    MaryJo Webster has been a data journalist for 20 years and is gearing up for her third time analyzing and telling stories from decennial census...
    Read More

This effort is made possible thanks to: