Immigration stories usually have numbers. But immigration numbers have stories of their own. Many journalists work with these numbers — they gather them, use them and report them. But while the numbers get told, the stories behind them often don’t.

“Most of the time we just report the numbers, but we don’t interview the numbers,” Migrahack creator Claudia Nunez said in a phone interview. “They have a lot of information for us.”

Migrahack is an effort to teach journalists to take those numbers and find the stories inside. Usually, journalists cite a statistic and drill down to an individual story, said Lauren Pabst, a program officer with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, by phone. (The MacArthur Foundation has supported Migrahack with a $100,000 grant.) But data and how you compare it can say different things. Migrahacks give participants tools and skills to think deeply about the numbers they’re using, Pabst said, and interrogate those numbers to see what’s really happening.

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