Investigative Reporting: From Numbers to Narrative


Start Anytime

Investigative Reporting: From Numbers to Narrative

Wrangle data to find and tell stories.

Type: Webinar

Originally broadcast on June 21, 2018

Time Estimate: One hour


SKU: NUWEB15-18 Category: Tag:


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

Data can be a powerful tool to find and tell unique stories,
but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

Part one in a two-part webinar series will introduce useful sources
of data for a variety of beats and will explore techniques reporters
can use to identify and track down additional data resources to enrich their storytelling.
We’ll also discuss interesting datasets that newsrooms large and small
have used to tell unique stories of value to their audiences.

Part two will explore strategies for approaching a new dataset
to scour it for unique story ideas to supercharge your reporting.
We’ll discuss how to watch for red flags that could lead to errors
and perform simple analyses to surface trends and outliers.


  • How data can add context and impact to stories
  • Where to look for data on the local, state and federal level
  • How to request public data
  • How to identify and track crucial data for your beat
  • How other newsrooms have found interesting data for stories
  • How to approach data for the purposes of storytelling
  • How to use data dictionaries to explore new datasets
  • How to examine data for potential pitfalls to avoid errors
  • How to understand the limits of a dataset
  • How to use analytical techniques to find story ideas and sources
  • How newsrooms have used data to enrich their reporting


This webinar is ideal for beat reporters, freelancers, digital producers and civic hackers looking for strategies to wrangle data and use it accurately to find and tell stories.


Tyler Dukes

Tyler Dukes is an investigative reporter on the state politics team at WRAL News in Raleigh, N.C., where he specializes in data and public records. In his work, he has revealed how public agencies failed victims of domestic violence and how the death of an inmate in state prison showed flaws in how people with mental health issues are treated when serving their sentences. Dukes has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill’s journalism school, Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and trained reporters as a college newspaper adviser. In 2016-2017 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.