in Houston, Texas
Texas Watchdog to attend journalists’ conference on computer-assisted reporting
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012, 02:09PM CST
By Trent Seibert
Spock computer screen

Texas Watchdog strives to deliver great investigations by keeping the tools in our box -- from computing to skilled interviewing and source-building, and everything in between -- sharp.

That’s why staff member Lee Ann O’Neal is attending a conference in St. Louis next week to hone her data-crunching and other journalistic skills. The NICAR 2012 conference is put on by the National Institute on Computer-Assisted Reporting and a professional association, the Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Experts will lead sessions on negotiating for government databases, web scraping, backgrounding people and companies using social media, and more. Lee Ann expects to learn a whole heap from these expert journalists (including some from Texas media outlets) and bring back new tools and knowledge to Texas Watchdog.

What is computer-assisted reporting?

You’ve seen it right here at Texas Watchdog, in this story about the interwoven ethics problems at the Houston Independent School District and other local governments, in the math underlying this story about warnings on pension reform, in the research via Facebook for this story about an HISD trustee’s Costa Rican fundraiser, and in the troves of public documents that Texas Watchdog publishes via Scribd.

Contact Trent Seibert at 832-316-4994 or or on Twitter at @trentseibert.

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Photo 'Spock @ Controls - Star Trek wallpaper' by flickr user Whiskeygonebad, used via a Creative Commons license.

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