Monday, February 17, 2014

New: Pennsylvania Auditor General Audits

The Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General regularly releases reports auditing county governments, pension plans, school districts and other state agencies. You'll be able to find the latest reports, organized by county, in the Auditor General section of the Data Center.

One report, for example, reviews the Plymouth Township Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Association. It found that the VFRA failed "to maintain a complete and accurate equipment roster," despite a previous audit's recommendation. The VFRA spent almost $72,000 on equipment during the audit period but did not properly account for more than $19,000 of that equipment, according to the report. The Auditor General's office is "concerned with the volunteer firefighters' relief association's failure to correct the previously reported audit finding."

As these reports are added to the Data Center, Digital First Media reporters will comb through the details and report on their findings. Be sure to check back for links to their coverage.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Introducing the Data Center

The digital age of journalism provides readers and writers with an ever-increasing number of ways to both investigate and communicate. Usually, "new media" discussions revolve around social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, which have indeed revolutionized the way sources, journalists and readers receive and distribute information instantaneously.

Less popular is the discussion around how technology aids journalists in their investigations, but it's a conversation we at Digital First Media have been having for as long as I've been working here (and others have had long before then). This site is our next step in that conversation.

Welcome to the Data Center, a collaboration between Digital First Media newsrooms in the Philadelphia region, including The Mercury, The Times Herald, The Reporter, The Trentonain, The Daily Times, The Daily Local, and dozens of other publications.

Follow this blog to keep track of our ongoing projects, and browse through our section pages to find information on Census data, education reports and even your county's marriage records. We'll add new items regularly and report on these additions.

Notice something missing from our lists? Email me at, and we'll do our best to get you the information you need.