Census and redistricting: Help is here 

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from August 11, which includes a last call to sign up for our free, one-hour Diversifying Your Sources workshop on Aug. 12 via Zoom with Melba Newsome, details about open positions at the News & Observer, more job postings on the Bulletin Board and information about available research funding from The Knight Foundation and other opportunities. Sign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday. 

By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor

On Thursday at 1 p.m., local data from the 2020 Census will be released, which means we’ll be able to start deeply analyzing, understanding and reporting how the demographics of our state and our communities have changed since 2010.

It also means the legislature can officially start drawing up the state’s 14 U.S. House districts (one more than we have now), 50 state Senate districts and 120 state House districts. Legislators this week are settling on the rules for doing that.

Lots of resources are available to help journalists cover the rollout of the population numbers and the redistricting process, or simply to help people understand it.

The NC Local News Workshop at Elon, home of this newsletter, and Carolina Demography, based at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, held a workshop in June to help member of the North Carolina media understand, analyze and report on the census. You’ll want to bookmark this great handout from that session, which provides a wealth of resources. (You can still watch the session, too.) 

You should follow Carolina Demography (@ncdemography) on Twitter. Director Rebecca Tippett and her team provide data and analysis to help reporters (and others) make sense of the state’s demographic changes. Here’s the Carolina Demography site — you’ll want to keep an eye on the blog, which has up-to-date and deep information on specific topics. And here’s a great Twitter thread those folks provided that collects resources and webinars that can help.

Today, there’s a free Poynter webinar — Census Stories Beyond the Numbers — at 2 pm. It’s an hour’s worth of tips from data journalists on covering how the demographics of your community are changing, followed by an optional half-hour Q&A. [Register.]