Computerized Reports and Newspapers; Computer-Assisted Record Analysis Becoming a Staple of Papers

By Friend, Cecilia | Editor & Publisher, December 26, 1992 | Go to article overview

Computerized Reports and Newspapers; Computer-Assisted Record Analysis Becoming a Staple of Papers


Friend, Cecilia, Editor & Publisher


WITHIN A DECADE, reporters seeking information at city hall or the local courthouse may no longer be able to pore over a written log or file drawer. Election-night returns will no longer come to the newspaper in sheaves of printouts. Names, records, statistics and salaries that are a routine part of the public record may be inaccessible or indecipherable.

A brutal crackdown on the First Amendment? No. The information will be there. Indeed, there is likely to be more of it than ever, but it will come in a form that now confounds the resources of many small and midsize dailies: computer databases.

The ability to process and analyze computerized data "will be in every reporter's job description" in the very near future, predicts Max Jennings, editor of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and a former journalism professor at Arizona State University.

Jennings' newsroom already employs computer-assisted data analyses routinely -- not for just major projects -- and the Daily News is not alone.

* More than half the newspaper readers in the United States now get papers that are doing some sort of computer-assisted records analysis, according to a survey of 192 daily newspaper editors conducted this past summer and presented at the convention of the Association for Education and Mass Communications in Montreal.

The average circulation of the surveyed papers was 150,459. The median circulation was 79,000. Questionnaires were sent in March to 235 editors; 192 were returned, for a response rate of 82%.

* Three-fourths of those editors said that the ability to analyze records by computer will be "very important" in the coming decade; virtually all said it would be at least "somewhat important."

* One-third of the editors said that their papers had done 11 or more computer analyses in the past year, which suggests that many of them are doing analyses on a fairly regular basis and not just on long-term projects.

* More than 80% said they analyzed local and state government records; 62% said they also analyzed larger federal databases. Several said they created their own databases from hard-copy records.

* About 70% said that their newspapers were tied into data-retrieval networks such as Dialog or Nexis.

* Those editors who said that their papers were not doing computer-assisted record analyses most frequently blamed the lack of computer equipment and trained personnel. Some editors whose papers are not yet doing analyses said that they were getting the equipment and training the personnel to begin.

Most papers -- more than 90% in this survey -- already use computers for writing and editing. How does "computer-assisted" journalism go beyond that? It involves the technique of obtaining records in database form, usually quantitative rather than textual, and processing them in some way -- sorting, categorizing, or doing other analyses -- to reveal patterns not discernible in any other way. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Computerized Reports and Newspapers; Computer-Assisted Record Analysis Becoming a Staple of Papers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.