Interesting stuff from journalist Chris Amico reflecting on his project Patchwork Nation – ‘covering complicated national issues from a local perspective with a lot of data to back it up’.
Amico describes the framework he applies when reporting on complex data sets/starting an investigation with data – of particular interest are the tips on what he doesn’t do, which makes the process faster.
“What all this means, in terms of daily reporting, is that we don’t have to start over on every story. Instead, we have an ongoing story that develops incrementally, moving update by update, with a big picture evolving as we go.”
As a rule of thumb, however, he says: “Starting with data but no story tends to be a slow process. Ending up with a story but no data makes me feel like I haven’t done my job.”