Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Newspaper data delivery

Ken Sands has done us all a favor by pointing out the great work some newspapers are doing to make databases available to local readers. See What Does a 'Data Delivery Editor' Do? at Poynter. He discusses the Roanoke Times' DataSphere, which provides databases from court filings to bear sightings, and mentions a couple other such services from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, and the Asbury Park Press.

Says Sands, about the Times and editor Matt Chittum:
Pretty innovative stuff for a newspaper. That's what can happen when you create staff positions such as "data delivery editor."

Wow, how long have some of us been talking about this, and how long has it taken for it to materialize at this level. I remember discussions with Rich Gordon and others at the Miami Herald, imagining this in the 90s. How far we've -- finally -- come.

I've been keeping track of the papers that are putting public records online, and have added Roanoke and Rochester to the list on my public records links page. There aren't many yet, although most papers have at least a few databases, but these are the only ones I know of that have large compilations. Know of any others? Let me know.

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  • I've got a list going at WikiFOIA of newspapers that publish state salary databases that you might be interested in.

    There is also the GODORT wiki with tons of databases -- but they are not from newspapers.

    By Blogger Maverick, at 4:14 PM  

  • The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently started Data Planet where we will publish all kinds of searchable databases, interactive maps and links to other state and federal data on various topics.

    By Blogger MaryJo, at 5:02 PM  

  • postscript to my earlier post...I just remembered I have a very long list of newspaper "data center" web links that I'd be glad to send you. Just drop me an email at maryjo dot sylwester at gmail dot com

    By Blogger MaryJo, at 5:06 PM  

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