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West Virginia journalists invited to WVU’s Data Report Workshop

Free Saturday seminar offers opportunity learn of resources and techniques

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Editors and reporters from West Virginia Press Association newspapers are invited to attend an editorial workshop on Data-Driven Reporting being sponsored by the WVU Reed College of Media Alexis and Jim Pugh Innovation Lab and the Ogden Newspapers Innovator-in-Residence series.

Reporters from around the state can attend – at no charge – the one-day workshop: Data-Driven Reporting: Tricks, Tips and Getting Started

Set for Satuday, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the workshop is in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Media Innovation Lab in Martin Hall on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown,WV 26505. Anyone with questions about the workshop or the Innovation Lab, should e-mail Dana Coester at [email protected] or call 304-685-8736.

Interested journalists should R.S.V.P attendance to Tamira Smith at [email protected] by Jan. 20.

The workshop is designed for editors and reporters as an introduction to resources and techniques for using data to tell more powerful stories in your community. The workshop features data experts Derek Willis of The New York Times and Tim Marema of The Daily Yonder.

“I hope that many of our editors and reporters take advantage of the excellent opportunity,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “This Saturday workshop gives more journalists the chance to attend. We’re thrilled that WVU’s Reed College of Media, the Alexis and Jim Pugh Innovation Lab and the Ogden Newspapers Innovator-in-Residence series has made this possible.”

About the presenters:

Derek Willis writes about congressional behavior, campaign finance and other topics for The Upshot, a Times politics and policy site. From 2007-13, he was a member of The Times’s Interactive News desk, where he built and maintained political databases used in web applications on and in Times articles. Previously, Mr. Willis worked at The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, Congressional Quarterly and The Palm Beach Post, specializing in using data to find and tell stories. Willis is the recipient of a Knight Challenge Fund grant for the data reporting project Open Elections and most recently served as the WVU Reed College of Media’s Innovator-in-Residence. You can read more about Derek at his site more about the WVU project at

Tim Marema is editor of the Daily Yonder (, a news site that covers rural economics, politics and culture using professional journalists, community correspondents and rural policy advocates. The result is a news publication that is read “from the county courthouse to the White House.” Tim began his journalism career at a weekly newspaper in Berea, Kentucky, while a student at Berea College. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina. He is the former editor of the Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Herald and served as zoned editions editor of the Durham Herald-Sun. He is vice president and a founding staff member of the Center for Rural Strategies, the nonprofit organization that publishes the Daily Yonder. Tim is the recipient of a Knight Prototype Fund for Automated Data Reporting for Small-Market Media, which developed a data-reporting method that community media can use to localize national stories to the county level. 

The workshop will include:
• Introduction to basic data resources for covering communities and elections
• Hands-on exercises on collecting local data for community-based needs
• Intro to essential data skills, including Excel, mapping and data visualization
• Automated data reporting
• Overview, lessons-learned and key insights from Tim and Derek’s latest data reporting projects.

This free seminar is sponsored by the WVU Reed College of Media Alexis and Jim Pugh Innovation Lab and the Ogden Newspapers Innovator-in-Residence series. 

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