Cub Census Reporter is a weblog designed to test out an idea.
The hypothesis is this: if you were to avidly read and clip the stream of news, you'd find interesting stories based on US Census data for a particular area. Many or most of them will not be about the area that you care about, for the reporting that you want to do. There is thus an opportunity to reverse engineer the original data analysis and see how it plays out in your part of the world.
I'll be reading and clipping census based stories, then going to the original census data (through one of a variety of user interfaces) and describing as best I can how to replicate the data analysis. In the cases where I'm lucky, I'll be also able to replicate the analysis for my part of the world (using Michigan, and especially Washtenaw County, as the target location).
As I go I'll try extra hard to be overly descriptive of the steps I'm taking along the way, so that they can be vetted by someone else, and so that you can be sure that the analysis has a level of accuracy that's good. Whenever possible I'll describe sources and methods and share the tools that I'm using. If there's mistakes along the way, hopefully they will be teachable moments and not egregious errors. Sometimes the simple answer is not easy to find, and only by showing how the answer can be laboriously dragged out of a general purpose interface can you get to the right question to frame it as a simple question.
Onwards into the deep!