Are you using data for a story? Are you having trouble finding data sources? Do you have any questions regarding public records requests? Are you struggling to analyze your data? On February 24th, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time), Big Local News staff will be available to help you!

To sign up, complete this questionnaire. Keep reading to learn more about Big Local News.

The BLN team combines many different skills that have helped move forward numerous accountability stories. We specialize in large-scale data collection using public records requests and web scraping, building workflows for processing data, analyzing datasets and collaborating with journalists and researchers.

For example, Big Local News partnered with the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships and the Google News Initiative to fund and provide mentorship for data-driven journalism aimed at investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most disadvantaged communities.

Our grantees published powerful and original projects from around the world as a result.

In another pandemic-related project, our team joined forces with the New York Times and Ed Source to analyze enrollment trends at 70,000 schools around the country, bringing to light the drastic decline of public school enrollment. The dataset is now available for every reporter who wants to explore the trends in their local school district, state or region.

As a member of the California Reporting Project, our team helped to discover how the Bakersfield Police Department broke 31 people’s bones in four years, and how the same department fails to identify people in a mental health crisis.

With this first open office hours session, Big Local News kicks off an initiative designed to help journalists from all backgrounds, including those who have never worked with data before. We plan to host our virtual office hours once per quarter.

To participate, answer this questionnaire and let us know how we can help you and what time slot suits you best. We will assign the time slots based on who signs up first. We will send you a Zoom link confirming your appointment and you will be all set to join our virtual office hours!

Still have questions? Just email [email protected].