The Project for Excellence in Journalism is making is voluminous data available to anyone who wants to use it in new ways:
Perhaps the biggest change is the new Numbers section, which contains virtually all the data PEJ has produced since it began in 1997. Here users can search our data archive by industry, by trend and by news event. Once they have found what they want, they then can customize that data and create their own charts. Through an advanced customization option, they can even change the colors and look of these charts and graphs to make them camera ready for their own use.
This is great, as far as it goes. Letting people roll their own reports, remixing the data in ways the PEJ folks might not have thought of themselves, is a valuable addition to the media research scene. It will pay dividends for all concerned.
Unfortunately, PEJ is insisting that people ask permission first before actually using the data for commercial or educational purposes. I can understand why PEJ would remind folks that data from third-party sources may require permission (though fair use will allow lots of use in any event), but why throw this speed bump in front of its own material?