Independent journalist offers tips, guides, links

By MIRAISY RODRIGUEZ

Robert Niles, who among other things, won the Online News Association’s 2001 award in the Online Service Journalism category for independent journalists, maintains a website with very useful links or journalists conducting online research.

With categories ranging from “basic stuff” to “crime” and “health,” the website can be a one-stop guide to finding online data quickly. While the site offers links to more commonly known sites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Election Commission, it also offers links to arguably less obvious sites such as FedStats.

Another useful site by Mr. Niles offers a beginners’ guide to statistics. This guide, which starts with concepts as basic as mean and mode, does go into slightly more complex concepts that must be understood by any journalist using data found on sites like those listed above. For example, under the sub-heading “The Next Step: Not Getting Duped,” Mr. Niles goes into the terms “per capita” and “rate,” what they mean, and how they can be used to trick people.

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