Digging for Data, Tom Cardoso, crime and justice reporter, Globe and Mail

Digging for Data, Tom Cardoso, crime and justice reporter, Globe and Mail

DATE: February 26 2020

TIME: 1230pm


All too often, data used in criminal justice research and reporting comes from one of a handful of sources: Statistics Canada, open data portals, or a polite request to a government body. Unfortunately, these datasets are always summarized and aggregated, stamping out interesting patterns. But with a bit of strategy (and a whole lot of patience), freedom of information (FOI) requests can get you right to the source – the database itself. This talk will explore how to request these large, closely-guarded datasets through FOIs, summarize the ways these datasets can be analyzed, and provide examples of the kind of findings that are possible when you go right to the source.

Tom Cardoso is a reporter and data journalist at The Globe and Mail. He has filed hundreds of freedom of information requests, and specializes in using FOIs to extract databases from governments and police forces. Tom’s recent reporting has focused on gun violence, the origins of guns used in crimes across Canada, and the use of automated and artificial intelligence tools by government organizations.