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The Brown Institute for Media Innovation

The Transparency Series – Series 1, Polling (Workshop)


A unique set of seminars and hands-on workshops that bring new technology and design ideas to the Columbia Journalism community. The goal is simple — help students learn new ways to find and tell stories, new ways to inform and entertain. Each topic will commence with a Friday evening panel discussion and will follow with a Saturday hands-on workshop centered around building.

Students attending three of the seminar-workshops over the course of the year will receive a graduation award indicating the extra breadth they sought out during their time at the J-School.



The first workshop in the Transparency Series takes you through techniques for looking at one or more polls over time. Your instructor is Harry Enten, a senior political analyst at FiveThirtyEight. He will be assisted by his colleague Neil Paine, another talented data journalist and sportswriter. The day-long workshop will present tools and strategies for working with polls — starting at the very beginning with simple random samples, and leading to the detailed models that are employed today. All the while, we will emphasize how to find and tell interesting, novel stories with polls. No prior experience in statistics or data analysis is needed.