Databases can get more people involved in news Web sites, David Milliron, director of media services at Caspio Inc.,
said in his session, “Getting Started With Databases.”
While he didn’t give a full lesson on programming databases as attendees had hoped -- or maybe even dreaded -- he explained their great impact and the basics of how they should be used.
One of the important concepts that Milliron brought up was that data shouldn’t just be thrown out on a Web site. Instead, journalists need to “make sense of the data” for the database to really work.
Milliron cited several examples of successful databases, including Gannett’s Data Central sites (used, for example, at IndyStar.com), the Florida-Times Union’s DataBank and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s CinciNavigator.
Milliron encouraged journalists to get involved in programming. Journalists who understand the process can help bridge the gap between programmers and reporters and prevent a complete disaster if a programmer leaves the site.
“It’s a great investment in your career, and it’s a great investment in your future, ” he said.
-- Savannah Aepli