Archive for March, 2011

Speaking of the Census…

March 28th, 2011 by Jack

Librarians are organizing to save from budget cuts the United States Statistical Abstract, a Census Bureau reference work that has been around since 1878.  It’s a resource I had included in my Census lesson last year.

Congrats to Alva and Sherrina!

March 26th, 2011 by Jack

Alva French’s piece about a Harlem mosque’s efforts to aid folks in the Ivory Coast made the Daily News.

Sherrina Navani’s story about the benefits of music education was featured on

New York 2010 Census data released

March 25th, 2011 by Jack

Update: Latest data has also been loaded into Social Explorer, and Andrew Beveridge was quoted in a story in today’s New York Times.  The Times has an interactive map as well.

So everybody knows New York is no longer the Census laggard by now, right?

That’s hardly to say all the 2010 Census data is out, but whatever has been released for the other states is available for New York now too.  For example, we now know mixed-race population is down slightly in New York as compared to 2000.  (Hint, hint.)

Now please excuse me while I return to my 80-degree New Orleans state of mind, New York shiverers.

Census data

March 21st, 2011 by Jack

The U.S. Census Bureau releases a torrent of demographic and statistical information each year, but to best assist you with your next assignment, I’ve decided to pare down last year’s lesson to the resources I think will be most useful.

To begin, I should note that official 2010 Census data is still in the midst of being released.  As far as I’ve been able to determine, most of the “good stuff” is still yet to come.

  • The primary and most up-to-date source for local Census data is American FactFinder, which includes fast access to fact sheets for your community, as well as the annual American Community Survey.  However, the site is currently in transition to a new page that will incorporate 2010 Census data.  Some states and tables are already there, while others aren’t, so there’s a good chance you’ll need to use the old page (with 2009 ACS data) to get what you need.  To learn more about how to navigate the new FactFinder, click here.

There are also some excellent secondary sources, which I often find easier to navigate:

Bonus material: One of my favorite Census Bureau pages is Facts for Features & Special Editions, which consists of collections of statistics from demographic and economic subject areas–intended to commemorate anniversaries or observances or to provide background information for topics in the news.

An excellent example

March 7th, 2011 by Jack

Here’s a research-inspired story by a CUNY J-school graduate now working at NBC:

New shout-outs

March 4th, 2011 by Jack

Kudos to the team of Amy Stretten, Alcione Gonzalez and Jennifer Hamblett for their video piece on the News Service looking at proposed cab designs in New York City.  Jennifer also had a post about a photographer’s black-and-white take on Los Angeles featured on The New York Times’ Lens blog.  And Hannah Miet’s story about an online matchmaking service called Date My School made The Times’ Sunday paper.

Congratulations also goes out to Bianca for her story in The Queens Courier about pop-up art galleries in empty storefronts.

Looking back(grounding) and looking ahead

March 3rd, 2011 by Jack

Regarding backgrounding, CBS News and Sports Illustrated have jointly produced a terrific enterprise package on college football players with criminal records.  Awesome research!

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When I’m next in on March 22nd, we’ll be discussing Census research.  In yesterday’s Times, there was an excellent example of Census Bureau statistics inspiring a story (video included).  On March 23rd, I’ll be “embedded” in class to assist you with a Census-related story assignment, so it’s not too soon to start thinking about what you might like to do.  As long as it’s inspired by Census data, the assignment is pretty open-ended.

Today’s rant: Another reason I’d be fine if Facebook went away forever, investigative value be damned.