Combing Through the MuckRock of Data

Fascinated by the NSA data scandal, or just looking for insights into how FOIA requests turn into stories? Check out the site MuckRock and its new podcast.

MuckRock calls itself  an “open government tool powered by state and federal Freedom of Information laws,” and is funded by the Sunlight Foundation and the people who use it.

Basically, these guys wade through the muck of a FOIA request so you don;t have to–it makes, tracks and process your request. They even help analyze and find story idea.

You can pay for the service or sign up for free to just roam around the site. Be sure to check out its new podcast to see stories that burst forth from well-analyzed data.

This semester, our Comm 2221 will be helping to cover big data, as it is explored in a terrific conference called “Big Data Future” over at the Moritz College of Law.  I know big data sounds big by definition, but it is all in the commitment and the approach.

Don’t fear the data–it can be a reporter’s best friend.

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